DK's fbihop posted a diary today [ http://www.dailykos.com/...
] reporting that Republican Representative Heather Wilson, of New Mexico's 1st District [ http://www.sourcewatch.org/...
] , acted to cover up a case in which her husband, Jay Hone, a New Mexico attorney, was investigated by police on suspicion of having sexually touched a juvenile boy who was his client. At the time of the reported incident, a New Mexico court had assigned Attorney Hone to represent and protect the interests of the juvenile because the juvenile had neither parents nor guardian. The case implicates Republican Representative Heather Wilson because, immediately after becoming head of the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families, removed from her agency's archives the file of the investigation into her husband's suspected child sexual abuse.
According to the police report, reprinted in fbihop's diary[ http://www.dailykos.com/...
], the juvenile reported that Representative Wilson's husband brought his juvenile charge to the attorney's home for "pizza" and a "movie" and then "grabbed" or "touched" the juvenile's butt.
The police report says that after leaving his attorney's home, the juvenile reported to police what he took to be a sexual touching. The boy reported that he strongly rejected the attorney's touch and things progressed no further, yet it seems likely that the boy was as alarmed by what his attorney apparently intended to do as by what he actually did. Based on the police report, it appears that a juvenile trust may have been sexually violated in the context of an attorney-client relationship.
After reading comments to fbihop's diary of today, I think it important to note that the issues presented here are much larger than whether a touching occurred and whether it was intentional. The issues for the voting public to consider are:
(1) whether this attorney, when entrusted with the legal and practical care of a juvenile, was acting to "groom" the juvenile for a sexual relationship by offering such enticements as visits to the attorney's home, pizza, movies, and finally sexual attention, and
(2) whether Representative Heather Wilson intentionally thwarted investigation of the case, and covered it up, by removing the official investigative file from the system.
Representative Heather Wilson's husband's behavior toward his juvenile charge was inappropriate and unconscionable whether or not he intentionally touched the juvenile, if he offered the pizza, movie and trip to the attorney's home to groom the youth for a sexual relationship.
The term "grooming" was first underlined by Salter (1995). The expression is generally used to refer to the process by which a would-be abuser skillfully manipulates a child into a situation where he or she can be more readily sexually abused and is simultaneously less likely to disclose . . . The establishment (and eventual emotional betrayal) of affection and trust occupies a central role in the child molester's interactions with children . . . [ http://sls.sagepub.com/... ]
If the suspect attorney betrayed the trust of a child by trying to turn his legal representation of the child into a sexual relationship including sexual touching, then that is criminal and reprehensible. It is hard to imagine a situation in which a child would be more vulnerable to an abuse of power than when his parents are absent and he is in the care of lawyer appointed by the Government to protect his interests.
The matter is of the utmost political importance now because of Representative Heather Wilson's actions, first in her husband's case and now in the Foley sex-abuse case. Representative Wilson, who was appointed head of the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families shortly after her husband was investigated for child abuse, removed from her agency's archives the file of the investigation into her husband.[ http://www.democracyfornewmexico.com/... ]
On her third day in office, she removed a sensitive department case file, which had been opened on her husband, from the agency's central records repository in Albuquerque. Although Wilson initially denied doing so, she later changed her story and admitted removing the file. In other words, she lied.
The file was opened in response to an Albuquerque police report filed in March 1993 that reportedly contained potentially damaging allegations against her husband. The file is rumored to contain information about an accusation against Hone that has to do with inappropriate contact on his part with a babysitter. Most files opened by the department in this manner are generally based on claims of sexually inappropriate contact or abuse involving minors.
In the news report, investigative journalist Larry Barker tracks down Wilson and asks her about the file. On camera, Heather denies she removed the file from the Department's central filing system and transferred it to the custody of the Department attorney who shared her Santa Fe offices. The news team reports that when Wilson learned they were going to run the story she summoned reporters to her office and finally admitted she did, in fact, remove the file to her Secretary's office in Santa Fe.
The Bernalillo County District Attorney at the time, Bob Schwartz, stated that the removal was a "highly inappropriate" act on the part of Wilson and that she should at least have filed a request under seal to a judge to get permission to move the file. Schwartz claimed Wilson had a clear conflict of interest in the matter and stated that if she had, indeed removed it, she should resign. Strangely, I can't find any evidence that the matter was pursued. At the time, Republican Gary Johnson was Governor of NM, and the matter just faded from public view. The file has evidently never been returned to the central records of the Department.
[ http://www.democracyfornewmexico.com/... ]
As fbihop stated in his diary, this 1995 case in New Mexico, involving Representative Wison and her husband, resounds with the same Republican perversion of morality present in the current Foley case, in which Representative Wilson, again responsible for the protection of children, but now as a member of the Congressional Page Board, has protected children abusers instead of protection children.
Now move forward in time to 2001, when Wilson is serving on the Page Board, which oversees the Congressional page program. Even though a page has come forward to say that Republican-appointed pages were warned that year not to respond to Rep. Foley's "friendly" overtures, Wilson claims she knew nothing about it. She served on the board from 2001 through 2004, when Foley's inappropriate emails and IMs were being sent, yet she claims she knew nothing about them. Heather Wilson was on the board charged with supervising the page program during a time when rumors were apparently making the rounds about Foley's suspect interest in the youths, but she heard none of it. [ http://www.democracyfornewmexico.com/... ]
New Mexico's Democratic Attorney General, Patricia Madrid, is mounting a strong challenge to Representative Wilson, and NPR has termed the race "too close to call". [ http://www.npr.org/... ] Hopefully, this November the voters will tell Representative Heather Wilson that the people of New Mexico expect much more from professionals entrusted with the care of young people.