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

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  •  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

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      •  ^^^^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 ]

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