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View Diary: [UPDATED] The Manassas Sexting Case, and "Known Unknowns" (167 comments)

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  •  But you are thinking with your brain whereas (7+ / 0-)

    the cops and DA are thinking with their little head.

    Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

    by OHdog on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:14:47 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Or there could be something else in the videos? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog

      In our criminal justice system, a Republican is presumed innocent until the 2nd Coming. - Gooserock

      by ExpatGirl on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:28:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If she's also in the videos ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mikey, Kevskos, mungley, OHdog

        ... then my best assumption is (a) she's not easily identifiable, and (b) doesn't want to testify.  Which means you'd have to identify him.

        •  I was wondering about an underage third party. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mikey

          In our criminal justice system, a Republican is presumed innocent until the 2nd Coming. - Gooserock

          by ExpatGirl on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:40:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also, and it maybe that I have just not looked (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe

            closely enough, are we sure that the charges are based on what he sent to the girl or what the police found when they searched his house and phone?

            In our criminal justice system, a Republican is presumed innocent until the 2nd Coming. - Gooserock

            by ExpatGirl on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:51:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We don't know (0+ / 0-)

              We know that the criminal complaint was initiated by her mother, which suggests that it could be based on both.

              •  In the linked article (0+ / 0-)

                it says that the original case was dismissed, that the police obtained new charges and a search warrant for his home and it was at that point that he was arrested.

                In our criminal justice system, a Republican is presumed innocent until the 2nd Coming. - Gooserock

                by ExpatGirl on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:03:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It was because ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kevskos, middleagedhousewife

                  ... the first time they charged him, they failed to note he was a minor, which for whatever reason required them to start again. They already had seized his iPad and iPhone.

                •  While this point got lost (14+ / 0-)

                  in the original post, it is the MOST OUTRAGEOUS element of the case:

                  When he was originally charged, he was served a juvenile petition and not taken into custody, which is the practice in juvenile cases UNLESS there is a clear and present danger to others or himself.  He appeared in court for trial, as directed, with counsel.  The charges were dismissed due to the gross incompetence of the prosecutor in failing to plead the defendant's age, which is necessary to invoke the jurisdiction of the court.

                  This outraged the prosecutor who decided to take revenge.  How do I know this, by his subsequent actions and those of the police.  Instead of being served with a new petition as would be expected considering the fact that he had already appeared in court, he was arrested which is a HUGE departure from normal procedure in a case like this.  His genitals were photographed against his will, Unconstitutionally, in my opinion both because the search was unnecessarily intrusive and because the is absolutely NO SCIENTIFIC of LEGAL basis for personal identification by looking at a penis.  Any judge who would allow this evidence to be introduced in court is hot doing his/her job under the Rules of Evidence.  (Although Virginia Judges are well-know for ignoring the law to assist prosecutors, as some may recall from the Marv Albert case in the 1990s').

                  Finally, when the boy did not accede to the prosecutor's demand that he give up his due process rights and plead guilty, after already being needlessly arrested an humiliated, he threatened him with still more pain and humiliation.

                  The male teen was served with petitions from juvenile court in early February, and not arrested, but when the case went to trial in juvenile court in June, Foster said prosecutors forgot to certify that the teen was a juvenile. The case was dismissed, but police immediately obtained new charges and also a search warrant for his home. Police also arrested the teen and took him to juvenile jail, where Foster said they took photos of the teen’s genitals against his will.

                  The case was set for trial on July 1, where Foster said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson told her that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis,” for comparison to the evidence from the teen’s cell phone. Foster asked how that would be accomplished and was told that “we just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot and then take the pictures that we need.”

                       

                  "her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis,”

                  That is a threat to abuse the criminal justice process to coerce a plea.  PERIOD.  There is no way to identify one penis from thousands of others.  The decision to bring the case in the first place is an example of police and prosecutors abusing a statute intended to protect minors to abuse them, but everything that occurred after the initial petition was dismissed is simply an abuse of process for petty revenge.  

                  If this prosecutor is not disbarred it will only prove my regular refrain on this cite and to my students:  The Rule of Law does not exist in America.  

                  "For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, clean, and wrong." --H. L. Mencken

                  by mcstowy on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 11:07:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ^^^^This (6+ / 0-)

                    The one thing that is apparent from this story is that the prosecutors are NOT acting in the best interests of either the girl or the juvenile boy (and if he is a juvenile that is their duty--not to simply prosecute).  Unfortunately I doubt that they will be disbarred as prosecutors are rarely punished more even more egregious actions.  Like the police, we have a new breed of prosecutors who see their job as one of constantly pushing the envelope of the law in order to get more and more convictions.  There are tons of reasons for that but the fact remains.  The benevolent prosecutors of television who only care about justice and punishing the bad guys don't exist.  Prosecutors make careers on prosecuting innocent people by hiding exculpatory evidence.  And very little happens to them.

                    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                    by stellaluna on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 11:42:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  If she is not being charged (0+ / 0-)

          they could offer her immunity and compel her testimony.  They don't need to identify him through a penis picture under these circumstances.  You know that.  

            •  What a silly question (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think this matter should be prosecuted at all.

              You are the one making the tendentious claim that they need a photograph of his erect penis.  I merely pointed out there is a standard, non-intrusive, option to obtain the evidence they need to prosecute.  An option that is used frequently in criminal prosecutions.  Your unwillingness to concede the obvious point, coupled with the need to go to ridiculous lengths to avoid it, is unbecoming an attorney.

              When confronted with two options (compelling an erection medically and photographing it or compelling the girl to testify), it should be obvious that the better route is the one that is a tried and true technique, as opposed to the one that poses significant constitutional and procedural (Daubert) issues.  All the prosecutors have to do is tell mom that without her daughter's testimony, the case will be dropped.  That's what a prosecutor would do ordinarily.    

              You are of course free to try to justify the prosecutors' actions, but I would hope you would do it from a rational position, not from an irrational need to prove yourself right.  There is no need for photo of his penis.  There is no certainty that such an id would even be permissible in court, absent some distinguishing feature.  And there are first amendment and right to privacy concerns raised by the proposed action, as well as the prosecution in the first place.  

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