Not too long ago in a state not too far away, but mostly forgotten, I was arrested, tried, and convicted of child molestation. The charges were false, the proof nonexistent, but that didn’t seem to matter to the Assistant DAs that were assigned to my case.
The story starts a few years back: It’s very long and if it didn’t happen to me, almost unbelievable story of lies, theft, overzealous county workers, and betrayal. I swear it would make a great “Lifetime” movie…
All of my troubles started after I found out my (now ex) wife was having ANOTHER affair and stealing money from my bank and credit accounts. I confronted her and after a lot of argument I told her that I wanted a divorce and custody of my son. The next day She starts laughing and saying that my stepdaughter said I had abused her (which was a lie) and that she would be calling the police.
Because MS would have allowed me to sue for denial of affection, and that I had a very good case in which I could not only keep most of my assets (most of which I had long before I married the woman) but also likely get custody of my son and make her pay me child support, she played the trump card that so many do now a days. She called the police and said I did things to my step daughter that I didn’t do and got her to relay some of the information to the police as well (however almost none of it matched nor was it consistent, but the ADA didn’t care)
Yeah, so my saga started off with my first attorney. He seemed like a decent lawyer and all, but right after I gave him my last payment he tells me that he took a Federal Public defenders position and had to recuse himself from my case. Yay! However, he tells me not to worry because he hired a “really good” attorney (second attorney or Attorney #2) who had tried cases like mine many times and will do really well with my “open and shut case”.
Long story short, attorney #2 tells me not to worry and that he’s going to hire experts to refute the claims made by my stepdaughter and my ex-wife and have several of my long term friends testify for me and against my ex in court. I give #2 copious amounts of financial and phone records to show that my ex was cheating and having multiple affairs, I also give him copious amounts of text messages where my ex was sending me pictures of my stepdaughter (unsolicited BTW) and conversations showing that she obviously knows the allegations are false.
Fast forward to the trial and the first day Attorney #2 tells the court that our expert is going to show up the next day and that I have several witnesses to testify on my behalf. The prosecutor objects because she apparently never received warning that we would have an expert (she knew I had experts and witnesses because Attorney #2 told her in front of me well before the trial, but Attorney #2 never put it in writing). Regardless the Judge says we can discuss the expert situation when they go over the guys experience before allowing him to testify as an expert. After the trial starts Attorney #2 essentially quits leaving the guy who was supposed to just “help” as second chair to try the case. The only problem is that I never talked to this guy about the case and he was flying blind. When we tried to enter my evidence the prosecutor objects because Attorney #2 never turned in any of my information during discovery. So, in essence this guy never did any of his pre-trial work and we had no proof to back up any of my claims. When the prosecution rests I know I’m in trouble because we couldn’t refute any of the lies they were saying because I had no proof or evidence. The next day when the defense is supposed to take the stand I find out that my expert never showed up, even though I had paid Attorney #2 for him, and that there wasn’t going to be anyone other than myself to testify on my behalf. FUN!
With no evidence on my side it was all a “he said she said” situation. The prosecutor did well in making me out to be a bad guy because I made good money but wouldn’t go see my son (even though she was the one who put a no contact order on me for most of the pretrial time) and that my ex wouldn’t agree to the visitation since she had moved out of the state after the start of the whole mess. She also made it out to sound like I never gave my ex money for support, which was a lie as I was giving her over $1200 a month and paying most of her bills to support her and my son, but I couldn’t prove it because none of my financial records were allow in as evidence. Anyhow, long story short, with no evidence, no witnesses, and no expert of my side it only took the Jury 4 hours to deliberate and find me guilty.
After the trial I found out that Attorney #2 had never paid my “expert” and that was why the guy never showed up. So not only did he lie to me but also lied to the court saying that I had an expert, which he knew I didn’t since he took my money but never paid the guy.
Once I found this out I immediately fired Attorney #2 and found two good attorneys who I nicknamed “The Wonder Twins”. I had to essentially sell everything I owned and borrowed money from friends and family to pay “The Wonder Twins”. With their help we were able to place a motion for retrial. This motion normally happens within a few weeks after trial but because the prosecutor knew that we had enough evidence to say my first trial wasn’t fair after we had a 6 month continuance on our side they delayed the hearing for another year. So, after 1.5 years I got back into court and was able to start proving that Attorney #2 was infective. However, we never finished the whole brief. One reason was that even if the Judge were to grant me a new trial I would have to stay locked up for another year at minimum waiting for my new trial to start. The prosecution wasn’t about to admit that my ex wife fooled them so they kept offering me plea deals to stop everything from moving forward. I denied them until they came to one that dropped the nasty sex charge and let me out immediately. In essence I took a plea for a lesser charge with time served and they let me out. So, yeah, I am a convicted felon now, but I don’t have to register or do probation like I would have with the other charge and I get to avoid another trial. (The felony is going to make finding a job a lot harder but again, I got to come home and get out of prison).
I did find it very ironic that I had to lie under oath and say I committed a crime that I didn’t do to keep the prosecution from pressing charges on another crime I didn’t do.
Next week I am pressing felony embezzlement charges on Attorney #2 and plan to push it through. I have plenty of proof to show he lied to me and to the court about my expert along with many other things. I also plan to do several bar complaints again him and I’m going to try the same with the ADA since she knowing lied during my trial and pressed the case forward after receiving proof that it was not true. I seriously doubt my complaints about the ADAs will go anywhere. I’m also going to start the long process of trying to get custody of my son (if he even turns out to be mine after a DNA test), which I haven’t seen since he was 6 months old.
So, that’s the very short version of everything. I am leaving A LOT of stuff out since it’s too much to put into this AMA.
TL;DR: My ex lied to the police to keep from losing custody and all the assets she had stolen from me in a divorce. I got shammed by a crooked attorney who stole my money and didn’t even do cross during my trial and “forgot” to submit any of my evidence. I hire new lawyers, take it all back to court and I win to some extent. Instead of spending 15 years mandatory time I got out in 17 months. I’m and ex-con but at least I don’t have to register as a sex offender.
Edit #1 Here are the links to a few of my legal docs.
edit #2 I’m not from MS. I’m from the Midwest and moved to “The South” for work in early 2009 after I lost my job in the Midwest to the great recession in 2008.