Judge’s treatment of rape victims draws fire


“About two minutes here, if you don’t gather yourself, I’m about to rip up this guilty plea, and this man in front of you is about to walk. So I would do your very best to gather yourself,” Horton said, according to court transcripts.

Rape cases are often settled without a trial so that the victim can avoid testifying and reliving the ordeal.

But Common Pleas Judge Tim Horton recently ordered two victims to appear in court, in front of their attackers, because he said he wanted to make sure that everyone understood the plea deals that had been worked out by attorneys.

One of the victims, a 13-year-old boy, eventually was allowed to give a written statement through his mother.

But in the other case, a young woman began to break down on the witness stand, and Horton, who has been a judge for three years, scolded her.

“About two minutes here, if you don’t gather yourself, I’m about to rip up this guilty plea, and this man in front of you is about to walk. So I would do your very best to gather yourself,” Horton said, according to court transcripts.

A victims’ advocate is outraged.

And Horton now acknowledges that he wasn’t at his best during those moments.

“I don’t intend to make this a trend,” he said. “I’m still evolving as a judge. (The woman’s case) was a plea I learned a lot from. It was not my finest plea.”

The 19-year-old woman was raped on a pool table with a knife to her throat at a party in Grove City in 2007. She said she thought the arrest of her assailant and a negotiated plea deal would end her trauma.

“My fear was to see him again and have him see me,” she said in an interview this week. “I was scared I would be followed home (from court). I was scared for my family.

“There were so many people in (the courtroom). All the seats were filled up.”

Weeks later, Horton also ordered prosecutors to bring the 13-year-old boy to the courthouse so he could look him in the eye and explain why a relative might spend the rest of his life in prison for repeatedly molesting the boy when he was 9.

In that case, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien filed a motion asking that the victim’s mother be permitted to act as the boy’s representative. She read a statement in court, and Horton was satisfied.

Catherine Harper Lee, executive director of the victims’-advocacy group Justice League of Ohio, commended O’Brien for filing the motion.

“At least this protected the child from further trauma,” she said in a written statement.

But she said she was dismayed by Horton’s actions in both cases. And she called the comments made by Horton to the woman “inexcusable.”

“Let’s forgo consideration of the expertise of the prosecutor and defense counsel and threaten a severely traumatized rape victim that if she doesn’t pull herself together the judge will tear up the guilty plea and set the rapist free,” Harper Lee said. “With that lack of compassion and threat of injustice, it’s no wonder why 70 percent of rape victims don’t report.”

Horton said this week that he was not confident that either victim understood what the plea agreements meant.

“I wasn’t completely satisfied with the resolution,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to try to get it right.

“I understand the state can speak for them, but I wanted to make sure the victim was content with the process.”

The victims didn’t want to face their accusers at trial or at any other time, prosecutors said.

In the first case, David K. Dohmen, 25, agreed to plead guilty to one count of rape, a reduction from the original charges of two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition.

According to a Grove City police report, Dohmen and the woman were not acquainted but ended up alone in a basement at a party in October 2007. The woman said the assault began on a pool table, then she was forced onto a bed underneath a staircase.

“I had to tell my story to doctors and nurses and the police,” she said. “I didn’t want to tell it again.”

Dohmen was charged after a DNA match.

An assistant county prosecutor and Dohmen’s attorney, Stephen Palmer, negotiated a deal in which Dohmen would plead guilty to one count of rape, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. It was his first offense.

The woman told prosecutors that she wanted Dohmen to serve the minimum three-year sentence and to be labeled a sexual predator for life, and both sides made that recommendation to Horton. Though judges often go along with a recommended sentence, they have the authority to refuse or modify it.

Horton said he wanted to hear from the woman herself why she would accept three years when her attacker could have been sent away for 10.

When she arrived on April 30, Assistant County Prosecutor Casey Russo again asked Horton not to force her to appear in court, saying that her office had explained her rights and the repercussions of the plea.

Horton still called the woman to the stand, and she began to break down. That’s when the judge threatened to drop the charges if she didn’t compose herself.

Later, after offering to give the woman a break, he said, “I’m going to take a five-minute recess. If the state doesn’t have this witness together, I’m going to rip up this guilty-plea form, and I’m going to dismiss this case because … I’ve explained to counsel, to the state, on numerous occasions that I’m not going to accept this joint recommendation if in fact the witness is not prepared to make a statement.”

Pushed for an answer about why she wanted a three-year sentence, the woman told Horton, “He’s at least getting somewhat punished or something … I didn’t want to have to talk or anything.”

After Dohmen apologized to the woman in court, Horton imposed a four-year prison term and the sexual-predator label. In the Dispatch interview, the woman said Horton was insensitive.

“I feel bad for anyone that has to deal with him,” she said. ” I don’t think he has any feelings for the victims.”

Horton, who has been a judge for three years, said he has not required a victim to be present in “95 percent of negotiated pleas.”

In the other case, Andre M. Burris, 31, was in Horton’s courtroom June 1 after having agreed to plead guilty to raping a 9-year-old relative. It was his first offense.

Again, Russo was the prosecutor. She and defense attorney Tim Merkle recommended a prison term of 10 years to life for the rape of a minor child, the mandatory sentence for that crime. Horton imposed that sentence after the boy’s mother read a statement in court.

Burris originally was charged with four counts of rape and four counts of gross sexual imposition.

Neither O’Brien nor Russo would discuss either case.

Horton, a Democrat, was elected to the bench in 2006 to fill an unexpired term and re-elected in 2008. He had been an assistant attorney general in employment law and spent six years in private practice, mostly handling civil cases.

Published in: on June 12, 2009 at 4:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Raymond Hewlett – Repeat Sex Offender – Whining Pedophile – Suspect in Madeleine McCann Disappearance

Hewlett was first jailed for 18 months in 1972, after sexually assaulting a neighbour’s 12-year-old daughter.

Six years later in 1978 he was jailed again for four years for attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl after holding a gun to her head.

He was then locked up again for six years in 1988 after he kidnapped and assaulted another 14-year-old schoolgirl.

In March 1988, while he was held at Risley remand centre in Warrington, Cheshire, awaiting trial for the third offence, Hewlett wrote the letters to his 20-year-old daughter Gina.

Raymond Hewlett blamed his young victims for his history of sickening sex attacks, his prison letters show.

Here the Mail reprints some of the self-pitying notes the serial child sex offender wrote from his jail cell to his ‘Darling Daughter’ Gina from 1988 onwards:

‘I do believe there is a God, there has to be something more than this wicked evil world, what I find hard to grasp is why me?

‘Why when I behave like any other normal person do I have to be destroyed?’ he wrote, while on remand in Warrington, Cheshire, awaiting trial for kidnapping and assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

‘What have I done that makes me have to pay over and over again, I still feel as though I’ve been singled out to be tramped on and stamped on like some bloody insect, tell me am I a human being or not?

‘Well my Darling Daughter I just wish I could have a visit with just you or you and your Mum.’

In another letter, Hewlett blames his latest 14-year-old victim for his crimes, and accuses her of lying about her kidnap and assault ordeal.

‘She does not describe the interior of the vehicle correctly, but says the seats were black plastic when they were brown cloth,’ he moaned.

‘She said the car was smaller than a Marina with a front like a Chevette, she’s got loads either wrong on purpose or just forgotten to mention them, and yet everyone describes her as an intelligent girl.

‘She… goes on to say how calm she was because she never panics, I know she doesn’t she even says she was calmer than me, that’s because she had complete control of the situation, I just went along with it,’ he wrote.

‘I seem to be back in the same situation putting my hands up and surrendering, but what’s new, I always get sold down the river.

‘I just wish I knew what was going to happen but I think I already know, more jail maybe for a long time, I’ve lost all faith, truth does not seem important but that’s nothing new. Your Loving Dad xxx’

In another letter he complained:

‘I haven’t got a friend in the world, even my own brother and sisters have turned their backs on me…

‘it’s a good job I’ve got someone like you, mind you was always my favourite girl, the only trouble is you grew up but at least your [sic] still there, people are trying to make me into some sort of monster but you know different Gina.

‘I’ve got so much love to give but every time I give it something seems to go wrong.’

In another letter, Hewlett accused police of laughing at him when he made his statement, adding:

‘I didn’t find it at all amusing.’

And in a letter from Gartree Prison in Market Harborough, Leics, in September 1989, Hewlett even complained to Gina, now 41, about social workers interfering with his family.

He wrote:

‘I’d give anything for you to put your arm round me… and say Dad I love you… Kids don’t matter in this lousy world, when you love your kids and treat them right you get those Social Services B******* breathing down you neck. Why don’t they pick on families that do mistreat kids?’

The letters to his family showed no sign of remorse and Hewlett, now 64, desperately tried to convince his daughter Gina that he was innocent of his crimes.

They demonstrate no understanding of the abhorrent nature of his offences, and no trace of compassion towards his young victims – characteristics which will chill Kate and Gerry McCann as their detectives wait to speak to Hewlett about their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance.

His son Wayne, one of four children from Hewlett’s first marriage to Susan Ginley, said: ‘He was always in denial over what he had done, as if it was somebody else’s fault.’

Hewlett was first jailed for 18 months in 1972, after sexually assaulting a neighbour’s 12-year-old daughter.

Six years later in 1978 he was jailed again for four years for attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl after holding a gun to her head.

He was then locked up again for six years in 1988 after he kidnapped and assaulted another 14-year-old schoolgirl.

In March 1988, while he was held at Risley remand centre in Warrington, Cheshire, awaiting trial for the third offence, Hewlett wrote the letters to his 20-year-old daughter Gina.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Texas Voices claims it’s easy to invade the privacy of victims

From her two-story suburban home north of Austin, Jan Fewell, 50, searches for sex abuse victims in order to help their perpetrators.

“Do you know a man named Stephen Fisher?” she asked into her cell phone. “Do you still keep in touch with him? You do? Was it consensual sex or was it rape?”

She had just phoned a now 23-year-old mother of two. Combing through court records, Fewell learned that the woman, at age 13, had had sex with Fisher, a man five years her senior. Fewell wanted to know if the woman, who had refused to help prosecutors a decade ago, would be willing to help her group.

In a later interview, the woman said she regularly visits the man in prison, is raising the two children he fathered with her and counting the days until his release. Yes, she would be receptive to helping the group.

“That was so easy!” Fewell exclaimed after the call ended.

Texas Voices claims it’s easy to invade the privacy of victims

From her two-story suburban home north of Austin, Jan Fewell, 50, searches for sex abuse victims in order to help their perpetrators.

“Do you know a man named Stephen Fisher?” she asked into her cell phone. “Do you still keep in touch with him? You do? Was it consensual sex or was it rape?”

She had just phoned a now 23-year-old mother of two. Combing through court records, Fewell learned that the woman, at age 13, had had sex with Fisher, a man five years her senior. Fewell wanted to know if the woman, who had refused to help prosecutors a decade ago, would be willing to help her group.

In a later interview, the woman said she regularly visits the man in prison, is raising the two children he fathered with her and counting the days until his release. Yes, she would be receptive to helping the group.

“That was so easy!” Fewell exclaimed after the call ended.

Texas Voices claims it’s easy to invade the privacy of victims

From her two-story suburban home north of Austin, Jan Fewell, 50, searches for sex abuse victims in order to help their perpetrators.

“Do you know a man named Stephen Fisher?” she asked into her cell phone. “Do you still keep in touch with him? You do? Was it consensual sex or was it rape?”

She had just phoned a now 23-year-old mother of two. Combing through court records, Fewell learned that the woman, at age 13, had had sex with Fisher, a man five years her senior. Fewell wanted to know if the woman, who had refused to help prosecutors a decade ago, would be willing to help her group.

In a later interview, the woman said she regularly visits the man in prison, is raising the two children he fathered with her and counting the days until his release. Yes, she would be receptive to helping the group.

“That was so easy!” Fewell exclaimed after the call ended.

Gary Steven Bales – Registered Sex Offender – Harassing Victims

Registered Sex Offender Harassing Victims

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte


A Center Point man is in the Jefferson County jail for computer crimes and identity theft.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Gary Steven Bales are executing a search warrant at his residence on Hillcrest Road.

Bales, who is a registered sex offender from California, is accused of accessing email accounts of his victim’s immediate family to send harassing messages.

Investigators say he also committed Identity Theft by posing as the victim’s family members and using their online accounts, such as MySpace, etc.

Sheriff’s investigators say they recovered evidence of the alleged crimes after an extensive examination of Bales’ computers.

Bales is jailed on a total of $300,000 bond

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 6:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Gary Steven Bales – Registered Sex Offender – Harassing Victims

Registered Sex Offender Harassing Victims

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte


A Center Point man is in the Jefferson County jail for computer crimes and identity theft.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Gary Steven Bales are executing a search warrant at his residence on Hillcrest Road.

Bales, who is a registered sex offender from California, is accused of accessing email accounts of his victim’s immediate family to send harassing messages.

Investigators say he also committed Identity Theft by posing as the victim’s family members and using their online accounts, such as MySpace, etc.

Sheriff’s investigators say they recovered evidence of the alleged crimes after an extensive examination of Bales’ computers.

Bales is jailed on a total of $300,000 bond

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 6:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Apologist Scumbag Judge Selling out Childrens Rights

“These comments trivialise the crime and make it more difficult for victims – who always feel it is their fault and often don’t believe they will be taken seriously – to come forward,”


A children’s charity attacked a judge yesterday, claiming he was “trivialising” child abuse and making it harder for victims to come forward, after a second sentence he imposed on a child molester was referred to the Court of Appeal because of its leniency.

The child protection charity Kidscape also argued that the judiciary should be given training on the effect of their post-sentence comments.

Judge Julian Hall faced strong criticism yesterday for imposing a three-year supervision order on a 17-year-old boy who abused two children, a girl aged five and a boy of seven. Judge Hall said he did not believe the teenager was sufficiently dangerous to be imprisoned. A two-year jail sentence Judge Hall passed on window cleaner Keith Fenn, 25, last year for raping a 10-year-old girl was doubled by the Court of Appeal. The judge was criticised for describing the victim as “a very young woman of 10” who “liked to dress provocatively”. The judge had also previously caused controversy when he suggested another convicted molester buy his six-year-old victim a bike.

Yesterday, Claude Knights, the director of Kidscape, said such comments and the “derisory” sentences sent the wrong message to victims and parents. “These comments trivialise the crime and make it more difficult for victims – who always feel it is their fault and often don’t believe they will be taken seriously – to come forward,” she said.

Child expert Dr Pat Spungin, who runs the Raisingkids website, said: “The public tends to judge a crime by the sentence, so the sentence should reflect the seriousness of it.”

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 6:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Peter Brandel – Helped Pedophile Harass Sexual Assault Victim

A Mansfield man faces a number of charges for his role in helping a convicted pedophile harass a sexual assault victim.

Peter Brandel, 69, had bond set at $10,000 Wednesday in Ashland County Common Pleas Court on charges of retaliation, intimidating a witness, forgery and use of a sham legal process.

Brandel, a paralegal, is accused of tricking a victim into signing a blank document and later attached the document to affidavits without the victim’s knowledge. If convicted of the charges, Brandel faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Brandel is scheduled for arraignment at 1:15 p.m. Monday in Ashland County Common Pleas Court.

Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm  Comments (4)