Sex stings less than impressive, post arrest

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Waco – Detective Joseph Scaramucci knew exactly what he was looking for when he arrived at the motel on June 5. He had asked if what his date proposed on-line was “full service.”

He had arranged through the “escort section of a website” to meet Lacey Smith, a 21-year-old black girl from the Metroplex, for an assignation, including “bj n sex with condom yes.”

The price – $80 for 30 minutes.

According to the second of two affidavits he wrote for Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley, she rejected the first one because it did not provide probable cause in her opinion, there were condoms in a box on the dresser, an opened wrapper in the waste basket, money from a previous customer, and a scantily clad woman wearing only panties and a “small shirt.”

Though she had previously asked twice if he was in some way connected with law enforcement, the detective does not supply his answer. Somehow that detail escaped the bounds of Scaramucci’s account of their dialogue.

When, upon his arrival at the motel, Lacey Smith apprehended what had happened, the detective’s true intentions, she seemed to have become rather desperate, according to his narrative. She offered to let Scaramucci search her phone. She told him “you can see no one has really been here,” and “I’ll show you pictures of my son, I’m just trying to make a way…I don’t even do this.”

Scaramucci followed up with the laconic notation, by way of explanation for the Judge – “referring to Prostitution.”

She had recently lost her job; this was her first time working as a prostitute. In fact, she only came to Waco so that no one would recognize her.

All that amounts to a misdemeanor crime of B grade, equal in magnitude to a DWI, but nevertheless, a misdemeanor. Scaramucci finally obtained a warrant for her arrest on July 13, and she traveled to Waco to surrender to the charge after the previous case had been dropped because Judge Hensley refused to approve the affidavit of probable cause.

Therein lies a criticism leveled by a seasoned prosecutor working in the DA’s office, an individual who requested anonymity for obvious reasons, who said that in a large percentage of cases, the “sting” operations are not successful from a prosecutor’s point of view because such a large number of the cases are based on faulty evidence or poor development of the elements of probable cause that would lead to an indictment or the issuance of an information against an offender.

According to the complaint issued by the DA’s office, she “did then and there knowingly offer to engage, agree to engage, or engage in sexual conduct, namely, sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse, with Joseph Scaramucci, a person 18 years of age or older for a fee.”

At that point, the hero story begins to sag like a floundering Mayoralty campaign in a back-slapping, joy buzzer of an expense account party town, the kind where the cops go out and do a get tough on ho’s campaign on cue – so hizzoner can look good for the cameras – and then the conventioneers show up next month, and it’s business as usual.

Part of a glowing press report in a local daily organ of public opinion, the story trumpeted the news that the latest on-line “sting” of “sick” people had netted 45.

What happened after all that was less than impressive.

Of a total of eight individuals charged with the more serious offenses of promoting prostitution and seeking prostitutes under age 18 over the period of June 1 through June 23, only two have been indicted out of the four arrested for promotion of prostitution. None of the four who were arrested for seeking prostitutes under age 18 have been indicted, including two who were also charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Batting average: 25 percent. Works for red-hot speed merchants on the mound as relievers and winning late innings change-up closers, but infielders and sluggers from the outer regions of the park have to put a little more wood on it if they want to be seen as anything other than a mediocre glove man.

Not to worry, according to an earlier published account that quoted Sheriff Parnell McNamara, who only invited certain media outlets and journalists to the pep rally – er, press conference. “When you’re dealing with young people’s lives, you can’t put a dollar amount on it,” McNamara said. “So whatever it costs is worth it.”

Sheriff’s officers also arrested a total of 37 for seeking or providing prostitution during the same period. Of those, 22 have been charged under information supplied by the prosecutor’s office. Court databases show that the remaining 15 have not been charged in connection with the “sting” operations. Average – 60-40 split, which is not bad for merchandising. How about “when you’re dealing with people’s lives?” Then, it doesn’t matter what it costs.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Parnell McNamara’s crusade against the “creeps” who “love to prey on our young people.” How many of the 29 arrests announced back in March resulted in indictments?

Border soldier guilty in Fed Court, case to appeal

Liberty1

KC Massey III, former Cossacks Motorcycle Club Sgt. at Arms

Brownsville, TX – U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen found former Cossacks Motorcycle Club Sergeant at Arms KC Massey of the III% Militia guilty yesterday, September 30, of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

It is a highly politicized and closely watched development in border disputes between the Obama Administration and certain states in deep conflict with current federal enforcement methods regarding illegal immigration.

For several months, he and other volunteer militiamen patrolled a brushy area of the Rio Grande in the Southmost neighborhood of this city located outside the border fence near the airport. It is a stretch of river ox-bows heavily trafficked by drug, money laundering and human trafficking smugglers.

Operating out of a headquarters at a tiny 21-acre riverside farm owned by Rusty Monsees, Massey and his band of at most a half dozen armed men tagged “Rusty’s Rangers” were on patrol at the Sabal Palms Sanctuary, a historic plantation operated by the Audobon Society as a bird preserve, when Border Patrol Agents at first gave their permission to escort them in their efforts to stop a mass crossing of illegal immigrants.

When John Foerster, a much younger man with long, flowing shoulder-length hair whose street name is “Jesus,” stepped out of the brush bearing an AK-47 clone rifle, he startled an agent who shot five rounds in his direction. Sheriff’s Officers were summoned, and when they said they could find no violation of the law because the men were on private property at the invitation of the caretaker, FBI and ATF agents conducted an investigation and learned that Massey had served time for burglary 28 years previously. Foerster has a record of burglary conviction much more recent. He elected to enter a plea of guilty.

Though Massey is not guilty of any offense against Texas law, the government decided to prosecute him as a felon under a statute of the U.S. Code that could net a 10-year prison sentence.

The argument of the Assistant U.S. Attorney is that the weapons he furnished to his men had been transported from outside state boundaries in international and interstate commerce, and thus a key element of the crime for which he was indicted involves the element of importing firearms to a state.

Massey and his attorney Louis Sirola decided to test that area of the law, and elected to stand a bench trial before Judge Hanen, a Baylor Law valedictorian and hard line conservative appointed by President George W. Bush.

He is the only judge out of all who are hearing suits brought by 28 states to enter an order staying the Obama Administration’s Executive Order that will allow emigration by aliens without legal status as political refugees and distressed children. Those cases are pending a government appeal of a ruling in the United States Fifth Circuit of Appeals at New Orleans that upheld Hanen’s order.

Observers who attended the trial said that Judge Hanen appeared somewhat apologetic when Massey confronted him about “You guys ___ing me up.” He explained that under the doctrine of stare decisis, which dictates that previous decisions in cases of the same circumstance hold precedent, he must follow the letter of the law in his finding of guilt, but that an appeals court would be authorized to take up his argument that the law as applied represents a misinterpretation by federal agents and prosecutors.

Lawyer and client chose to ‘lie to the Court…’

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“S.G.W. and A.F.W.” are children whose anonymity is assured by law

LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. ” – Mark Twain (1866)

Rockwall, TX – They are referred to only by their initials, two little girls whose estranged father has been prevented from visiting for nearly a decade – as a requirement of a recent Act of the Legislature, in order to guarantee their privacy.

According to a well-experienced investigator, a man who has dealt in legal facts and the ever-unfolding narrative of family matters examined by Texas Courts, it merely serves as an assurance that future inquiries will likely be rendered impossible – by design.

“They are usually mentioned in separate pleadings – ‘in the interest of’. How can you determine which person you are seeking, if, when you get to another jurisdiction in another courthouse, all you have are initials? You can’t, that’s how,” he says in exasperation, gesturing, palms up, a frustrated hound purposely thrown off the scent through yet another trick of the law, this new and improved deus ex machina created by lawyers for lawyers whose clients have painted themselves into corners.

An equally experienced counselor and child play therapist with extensive service to the Courts put it this way. “It robs the children of their humanity. They no longer even have a name, only initials, once the system begins to deal with them in these terms.”

And why? Here’s a clue.

At law, there is an ancient remedy available to those condemned by the faulty judgment of an erroneous Court action – the collateral attack.

In the criminal law, it’s called a Writ of Habeas Corpus, an ancient Latin term meaning, literally, to “produce the body” of the person so condemned – for it is to be noted that in the dark ages, a prison sentence was in truth a death sentence effected by exposure or disease, or both – and now to be afforded a new hearing by virtue of new and exculpatory evidence. Courts are obliged to cease all other activity and clear the docket to hear the pleadings on the application, to consider setting bail for the release of the individual so convicted while the case is pending. Naturally, it is a case for which the effective time limits for appeal have expired, in which circumstance there is no other available venue for a remedy. 

Civil law sometimes has even more far-reaching and disastrous consequences for members of the families of hapless litigants involved in the arcana of protracted, overly complicated and obscure processes, proceedings they may hardly be expected to understand for the reason that, for starters, they had no knowledge of their existence.

…Petitioner did not learn, and could not have learned through the exercise of reasonable diligence, of the nature of Respondent’s fraud…

There was an ancient practice of criminal law in which a person could be found “outlaw” in a hearing conducted in absentia, a proceeding in which legal authorities declared the accused a non-person, someone with no rights at law, who could be killed or otherwise dealt with through extreme and violent means, transported to another state, banished or driven from their homes, their property and possessions forfeited.

Fortunately, Section 20 of Article 1 of the Texas Constitution prohibits “Outlawry or Transportation for Offense,” whereby a citizen “shall be outlawed;” by the same turn, “No person shall be transported out of the State for any offense committed within the same.” An Act of the Legislature in 1985 amended this key element of the Bill of Rights – a little something that keeps the authorities from turning the entire Lone Star State into an outright Penal Colony by adding the chilling provision that, “This section does not prohibit an agreement with another state providing for the confinement of inmates of this State in the penal or correctional facilities of that state.”

Such a deal; these boys are all heart. In between expense account lunches and tee times, it seems the corporate world is always with us, even in matters of ministerial duty assigned to the State by both Constitution and statutes.

There are certain practices at civil law that are not so even handed, as it were. In those cases, once the time limit of 30 days has expired for plenary review of a judgment or to take an appeal, the law allows a four-year period in which a petitioner may carry out a collateral attack on a judgment by proving three elements to the Court of original jurisdiction in order to set aside a prior judgment that is no longer subject to challenge by a motion for new trial or appeal.

Attorneys often use the petition for a bill of review as a collateral attack on judgments obtained by credit card companies and banks to collect unsecured debt in proceedings their clients did not know of because the banks sought to serve them by publication after process servers failed to find them at their recorded locations of employment or residence.

This is the civil version of the Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus,” according to Lane Haygood, an attorney for Stephen Warren, who has been prevented from seeing his children for the past seven and one-half years in spite of orders of the Court and the arrangement of supervised visits at a certified visitation center in Dallas, FLP, located in the 8900 block of Harry Hines Blvd.

Twice in the previous month following a contempt hearing before visiting Judge Joe Leonard, once on Sunday, the 13th, and on Sunday, the 27th, he was prevented by a staff member named Christina Coultas from seeing his children after cursory sessions of four minutes and two minutes during sessions scheduled to take place over a period of two hours each.

According to a member of the legal staff, “After what happened this weekend…we can’t expect justice – not from them.”

According to a holding in a previous case, (Transworld, 722 S.W.2d at 408) “petitioner must prove (1) a meritorious defense to the cause of action alleged to support the judgment, (2) that he was prevented from making by the fraud, accident or wrongful act of his opponent, (3) unmixed with any fault or negligence of his own.”

If a judge finds in a hearing on the first proposition, that the petitioner is offering a meritorious defense to the cause of action that was alleged to support the judgment, he will set a trial on the second two for its reversal. Depositions are in progress at this time, as ordered by Judge Leonard on September 11 in the contempt hearing. The Court will then proceed in a new case under a new Cause Number.

…Petitioner became aware of the nature and extent of Respondent’s fraudulent actions through discovery in this case…

When a Rockwall County Family Court placed Stephen Warren of Odessa under supervised visitation with his two daughters on March 1, 2011, the visiting Judge believed his ex-wife when she and her attorney, his attorney ad litem, and a district clerk swore they could not find him to respond to the suit.

He also believed Leslie Canvanaugh Bird’s attorney David Rohlf when he entered into evidence an indictment for his alleged aggravated sexual assault of his eldest child, S.G.W.

It was not until September 11, 2015, that his attorneys Cynthia Clack and Lane Haygood were able to discover evidence that those claims were fraudulent.

School records turned over by Rockwall Independent School District revealed that in fact Warren had given notice of his whereabouts, and the truth was that he was laid up in a hospital with a spinal injury he sustained in a plane crash at the time of the hearing. The records show that Mrs. Bird had instructed the school district employees to notify her immediately if he contacted them. She failed to so inform the Court.

In a Petition for Bill of Review filed on September 25, 2015, Warren’s lawyers have alleged that Leslie Bird misrepresented material to the Court, and that she and her attorney, David Rohlf “committed fraud and perjury by informing the Court that they could not locate” him.

The petition further states that both she and her counsel “committed further fraud by failing to inform the Court that criminal proceedings against Petitioner had been dismissed.”

Though his ex-wife informed the Court of “the outcry that lead to Petitioner’s criminal prosecution,” she and Rohlf “failed to inform the Court that the matter had been dismissed in December of 2010, a fact of which Respondent was aware according to her own admission” in an attached exhibit.

Rohlf “offered and admitted a copy of the indictment and conditions of bond against Petitioner but wholly failed to offer a copy of the order of dismissal or motion to dismiss.”

That’s a violation of Rule 3.03(a)(2) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional conduct.

The petition is way past the fouryear period allowed for a bill of review, but the attorneys are pleading the Court toll the statute because their client had no way of discovering the truth in the face of the lies of his ex-wife and her attorney.

They are asking that the Court set aside and cancel the order of March 1, 2011 and give Warren standard possession as stated in the Final Decree of Divorce.

He is asking for a new trial and that the Court order:

a. Costs of suit and reasonable attorney’s fees;

b. Requested modifications to his possessory status and visitation;

c. That his ex-wife be held in contempt and jailed for up to 180 days and assessed a fine of $10,000 or placed on community supervision for 10 years for her fraudulent representations to the Court on March 1, 2011;

d. That David Rohlf be held in violation of Rule 3.03 of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure due to his failure to provide the Court accurate information on March 1, 2011.

e. That David Rohlf, her attorney be removed as counsel of record and be named as an interested and material fact witness in the case;

f. That David Rohlf be sanctioned in the amount of $40,000 for his violation of Rule 3.03 as alleged;

g. That the March 1, 2011, order be declared void and that visitation under the Final Decree of Divorce entered on or about April 25, 2005, be reinstated immediately.