Anyone that has read this blog before is already aware I am not offering an unbiased middle-of-the-road take on adult business prosecutions in the US. I am almost always on the side of the defense; however, I only cover cases in which I have some reason to believe there's more to the story.
To me it was obvious that the Southwest Companions prosecution in Albuquerque, New Mexico was fraught with serious issues and selective. I felt similarly regarding the Classy DC Escorts case, though for different reasoning. If you followed my blog during the Orlando conspiracy trial of 11 defendants from Eastern Europe that was originally dubbed a “Russian sex trafficking ring,” then you are aware that I was appalled at every aspect of the prosecution and often stated so in my posts that included case documents.
Most posts from that Orlando conspiracy trial were removed at the request of a couple of defendants' family members. The request was granted because the 11 defendants were all around 25 years old and must be able to have a life when each returns home to Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia. In my opinion, those family members didn't stop and think that the only other articles out there still refer to it as a “sex trafficking” case and I was the last stop on the train to reality and truth. Mainstream newspapers rarely, if ever, go back and admit to offering incorrect information or remove that info.
I never did take a minute at the end of that Orlando conspiracy case trial and sentencing to congratulate each and every defendant involved. These people were from Eastern Europe, yet when faced with charges that could have given each one of them 5 to 50 years in a US prison, they all took it to trial. There were six defendants convicted by the jury and five acquitted. They all have more nerve than most people I have ever encountered in the US. It takes nerve and guts to take such a case to trial. This is my final post about this case:
In the last couple of days, and especially today, many readers are arriving on this blog with the search term “Southwest Companions”. Hell, I was busy congratulating David Flory when I first saw that all charges had nolle prossed back in late August of 2011. This may have been premature, but not really when you think about it. I ripped the Albuquerque P.D. a new one in one post a long time ago. In the last post written on the case, I considered it all to be one great mystery.
There was news on the Southwest Companions prosecution yesterday and a blog reader provided a link in comments on the last article. Now other newspapers and blogs have picked-up on it and discussed it. A judge named Stan Whitaker ruled in favor of the defendants in the case: Dated prostitution law puts case on hold. Yeah, on hold forever the way I read the ruling. There's a prosecutor trying to save face and win the next election along with a bunch of overzealous cops involved, so I won't say much more.
The most recent case that I have tackled is the Classy DC Escorts case. In a sense I was truly disappointed when I found out that even the photoshop lady, Jennifer Churchill, chose to make a guilty plea. When I felt that personal disappointment, I was not aware of the specific deal that she made. She pleaded guilty to the equivalent of a traffic infraction and received a $500 fine. Not even a flippin' misdemeanor! Anyone with a brain would plead with a deal like that on the table.
This goes to show how weak the case was as it related to Jennifer Churchill. However, most of us are aware that a jury could go either direction and Alexandria, Virginia has a conservative and often government related population. If everyone on the jury had contracted or worked for the government in some capacity, well, it could have easily resulted in a guilty verdict on any count. So a deal involving a plea to the equivalent of a traffic ticket, is truly a deal.
Often we forget to mention the attorneys involved in these case. There are many heroes and many more duds. While I won't name the duds because I cannot be sure of what occurred during the course of the case, I will indeed be naming the heroes. In the Classy DC Escorts case there is a law firm that represented Jennifer Churchill pro bono.
The attorney that defended Churchill in the case is a trial attorney and not a plea bargain attorney as so many that I have encountered in Central Florida are. If not for the excellent deal offer, Churchill would have definitely gone to trial. Kerri Ruttenberg of Jones Day believed in her client and fought until the fight was over and her client prevailed. Jones Day has attorneys all over the world and is not limited to the Alexandria, Virginia area.
I have so much more to say about attorneys that are heroes, including Kerri Ruttenberg, that the topic deserves a post of its own. Expect to see such a posting in the next week.
In my last post on this blog, I stated that I intended to get away from posting about adult business prosecutions and target other forms of injustice in the future. First and foremost on my mind is the DOJ prosecution of former attorney Paul Bergrin. I will tell you that I have been targeted over my posts on the Paul Bergrin debacle, so if I didn't really believe in the man, I'd have skipped it long ago.
Just this last week I was threatened (in so many words) with a prosecution in comments on the last nj.com article about Bergrin. According to the commenter, my blogs and my books are all illegal and a “promoting prostitution” prosecution is in my future. I, of course, told the party to give it his/her best shot, but that this blog and my others have been up for several years and no one has succeeded yet. I believe that party to be a part of the prosecution and/or investigation. This was far from the first threat leveled at me in reference to that case and it is all too apparent that someone involved would like to end my blogging forever.
There is some time before the next Bergrin trial starts and that is my sole reason for not posting anything else about the case at this time. I do not scare easily and really I no longer give a rat's ass who threatens me with what. I'm just beyond being concerned. They need to tell it to someone that cares.
Do expect me to continue posting about adult business prosecutions in the future. I will be clearing-up discussions on past and present cases and looking closely at several that I have paid little attention to, including the New York High Class prosecution that is approaching trial in NY, the All Perfect Tens case that is approaching trial in South Florida, and the Anna Gristina case in NY.
Mentioning Gristina – Justice Juan Merchan needs to be thrown off the bench. Hopefully Anna Gristina will be released before today is over and we can thank the Appeals Court for that.