Nancy Garrido was reared as a Jehovah's Witness, first in Texas, and then later in Colorado. The unmarried 25 year-old Jehovah's Witness, Nancy Bocanegra, was introduced to fellow Jehovah's Witness, Phillip Garrido, while Garrido was imprisoned in Leavenworth federal prison for a 1976 kidnapping and rape committed in Nevada. The "delayed" introduction reportedly was made in early 1980 only after Garrido's divorce from his first wife became final. Nancy Bocanegra was introduced to Phillip Garrido by one of his cellmates -- Nancy Bocanegra's Uncle, whom she occasionally visited. Phillip Garrido, age 30, and Nancy Bocanegra, age 26, were married inside Leavenworth Prison, in October 1981, by a non-denominational prison chaplain.
A 1978 mental evaluation conducted only 8-9 months after Garrido's arrival at Leavenworth states that Phillip Garrido was already, in March/April of 1978, a "very absorbed" Jehovah's Witness practitioner. Phillip Garrido has indicated that his interest in religion and GOD started sometime around 1973-74, and intensified around 1976-77 (Remember that the JWs were then in the middle of their largest recruitment period ever -- 1966 to 1975 -- when the WatchTower Society was predicting Armageddon to occur in October 1975. After 1975, it was "any day now".) During Phillip Garrido's first year at Leavenworth, Phillip Garrido even rejected the idea of a transfer from prison incarceration to an outside psychological treatment program so that he could complete the religious and secular education programs he had by then already started at Leavenworth. (Although the WatchTower Cult has since relaxed its teachings on mental health treatment -- due to the high incidence of mental illness amongst its members -- at that time, Jehovah's Witnesses were proactively discouraged from seeking treatment from mental health professionals.)
So, when did Phillip Garrido first join the WatchTower Cult? IT IS BELIEVED THAT PHILLIP GARRIDO FIRST STARTED ATTENDING A KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES SOMETIME IN THE EARLY 1970s -- possibly even as early as 1969-70, when Garrido was only 19-20 years old. Garrido either attended the Brentwood, California Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, or the Oakley, California Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, or both, at various times. There is a vague lead which seems to suggest that Nancy Bocanegra was not the first female with JW connections in Phillip Garrido's life. Whether that possible female with JW connections was Garrido's first wife, one of many girlfriends, or even possibly his mother (which opens an enormous can of worms given that is with whom Phillip and Nancy lived all these years), I do not know. I do know that some older JWs in either the Brentwood and Oakley areas probably do know, but evidently are tight lipped.
I also know that Phillip Garrido was arrested and incarcerated multiple times from 1969 through 1974. If, in fact, Phillip Garrido "became a member" of the Brentwood or Oakley congregations during this time period, as one source alleges, then he would have been subject to one or more internal judicial actions by his congregation's Body of Elders. That would mean that Garrido's past history as a Jehovah's Witness would be known not only by one or both of those two California congregations, but probably also by WatchTower Society headquarters, in Brooklyn.
At any rate, it was Phillip Garrido's status as a long-time practicing Jehovah's Witness, plus his marriage to a life-long practicing Jehovah's Witness, that undoubtedly played a significant role in his gaining early parole in 1988 given that nearly every evaluation of any type over the years almost always made positive mention of Garrido's religious beliefs and practices.
Nancy Garrido worked within the healthcare community in multiple states at least as far back as 1981. Nancy Garrido was licensed as a Nursing Assistant in California in 1989 after the couple moved to California after Phillip Garrido's parole from Leavenworth, and 8 months served in a Nevada state prison, where Garrido served short time on a state charge related to the 1976 rape/kidnapping. Between 1994 and 1998, Nancy Garrido worked for a California community agency, Contra Costa ARC, that served adults and children suffering from developmental disabilities. Nancy Garrido reportedly also worked at multiple nursing homes.
Nancy Garrido is reportedly accused by Prosecutors of playing an equal role with Phillip Garrido in the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard. Prosecutors suspect that it was actually Nancy Garrido who forcibly put Jaycee Lee Dugard into the car driven by Phillip Garrido in June 1991. In 1993, Phillip Garrido was returned to federal prison for 38 days because of a parole violation. Prosecutors allege that Nancy Garrido was Jaycee Lee Dugard's sole kidnapper during those 38 days.
ARIEL CASTRO FAMILY
OHIO v. ARIEL CASTRO. America's latest "child abductor", or "child kidnapper", Ariel Castro, of Cleveland, Ohio, also has multiple Jehovah's Witness connections -- if not "reared" as a Jehovah's Witness. Like the "Phillip Garrido Case", the specifics will probably not be fully disclosed until well after the criminal prosecution has been long completed. Ariel Castro's age 70s mother, Lillian Rodriguez, aka Lillian Castro, is unquestionably a Jehovah's Witness. In the 1960s, Lillian Rodriguez and her four children separated from the father, Pedro Castro, aka Nona Castro, and moved from Puerto Rico to Reading, Pennsylvania, to join Lillian Rodriguez's Rodriguez Clan parents, multiple brothers and sisters, nieces, and nephews. In 1975, Lillian Rodriguez and her four children reunited with Pedro Castro in Cleveland.
SEPTEMBER 2013 UPDATE: As most readers already know, Ariel Castro hung himself in his prison cell only one month after being imprisoned. Multiple media outlets reported that Ariel Castro's JW Mother and Ariel Castro's sister (believed to have been JW Elderette Marisol Alicea, mother of Jeremi Alicea -- see below) had been repeated visitors to see Castro.
INDIANA v. EMILY CASTRO. Emily Castro, the youngest of Ariel Castro's four children with ex-wife Grimilda Figeroa (deceased), was convicted in Indiana, in February 2008, of trying to kill her 11 month old out-of-wedlock daughter Janyla Gonzalez, and is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence. Emily Castro apparently attempted to cut the throat of her own baby after getting into a fight with her Fort Wayne, Indiana "baby daddy". Emily Castro thereafter also attempted suicide.
OHIO v. JEREMI ALICEA is an ongoing January 2014 Ohio criminal prosecution. Jeremi Alicea, age 26, of Bedford, Ohio, is allegedly the son of Ariel Castro's Jehovah's Witness sister, who allegedly is married to a Jehovah's Witness Minister named Juan Alicea, who had spoke to the media multiple times during the Ariel Castro news coverage. Jeremi Alicea has been indicted by a Cleveland, Ohio area Grand Jury on 21 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor (downloading/uploading child pornography), and one count of possessing criminal tools (computer), reportedly during online law enforcement "stings" in September 2013 and October 2013.
"[JW ELDER] submits that any evidence that he could give in this matter would fall within the ambit of privileged religious communications and he should be protected from having to disclose these communications."
Initially it is important to address and resolve two issues: (1) Were the communications which passed between the two complainants, the Accused[, and] the Applicant of a religious or spiritual nature? (2) Did one or more of the communicators or "confiders" have a reasonable expectation or confidence that their communications would not be disclosed?
On the first issue we have, of course, only the evidence of the Applicant as to the nature of the discussions between the two complainants, the Accused, and him. We know that [original complainant's] husband called the Applicant on December 13, 1998. We presume he called the Applicant recognizing his position as an Elder and overseer in the congregation. This was not directly addressed in the evidence, but I am prepared to make that assumption. At that initial meeting there was an allegation made that someone had assaulted her. The Applicant asserts that the communication was made in "confidence" to us. All three of them then prayed and read the bible. (Edit: Two Elders and original complainant. It is assumed that complainant's husband was also present.) There was no other evidence of what transpired at that initial meeting.
All we know of the communications between [original complainant] and the two Elders is that she told them that someone had assaulted her. There is no suggestion that she was, in her view, blameworthy of any immoral or improper conduct. One is then forced to ask oneself why would she need religious comfort or assurances. She had nothing to be ashamed of. Granted, she may have need emotional support and it is possible that she needed spiritual comfort. However, the evidence shows that she had already discussed "the allegations with at least one other individual". The Applicant said he was not the first to know. The evidence did not disclose the identity of that other person, but I think it is safe to assume that it was not an Elder of the church.
The Applicant and at least one other met with the other complainant [original complainant's sister] and the Accused prior to the meeting of the judicial committee. It appears that these meetings were initiated by either the Applicant or other Elders. There is no evidence that any of these communications were of a spiritual or religious nature. The other complainant [original complainant's sister] is not a baptized adherent of this church. It is difficult to understand why she would engage in conversations of a religious nature, especially where she did not originate the contact.
I have similar difficulties about the participation of the Accused in any of these meetings. The Applicant reiterated on a number of occasions that the Accused either said nothing or if he did say anything to them, it did not amount to an admission or confession. My feeling is that the Accused was less than a willing participant in any of these proceedings.
On the second issue of an expectation of confidentiality, I have concluded that this did not exist. To begin with, [original complainant] had obviously discussed matters with someone else. Obviously, her husband also knew of the allegations. In addition, she was apparently a long-time member of the congregation and would no doubt be aware of the process which would be used by the Elders once such an allegation came to light. I cannot see how she could have, under the circumstances, any expectancy of privacy or confidentiality.
Even if she initially might have had some expectation of confidentiality, it is difficult to see how this could have continued beyond the initial contact. From the evidence of the Applicant, it is clear that as many as eight or probably more Elders, some of whom were from outside of the congregation, were aware of the allegations and aware of the parties involved. In my view, even if there had been some initial expectation of confidentiality, that was quickly dispelled once the Applicant and others commenced their investigation and their gathering of evidence.
The same is true for the other complainant [original complainant's sister] and the Accused. It is unrealistic to assume that a non-adherent of the faith would expect confidentiality. Likewise, it is not plausible that the Accused would expect it. Even if there could have been any expectation of confidentiality at the beginning, obviously, this disappeared once the Elders became involved. The Applicant himself confirmed that the ultimate aim of the judicial committee was to "establish guilt". The Elders pursued an active investigation; they interviewed people; they advised people of the charges and the names of those involved; they brought in outside Elders from Botwood and then finally, after all of this had been discussed, an announcement was made that the Accused was "disfellowshipped from the congregation". In my opinion, all of this activity, including the act of pursuit of "evidence", is the exact antithesis of confidentiality.
I am convinced that the touchstone of confidentiality required to bring in to play the four criteria enunciated by Wigmore is not at all present in this case. This is a far cry from the situation referred to in Fosty by Madam Justice L'Heureux-Dube when she talks of disclosure "to a spiritual counselor in total and absolute confidence".
In my view, the Applicant has failed to discharge the onus on him to justify the quashing of the subpoena and he must obey it.
In March 2013, Jeffrey Buzzard, age 43, reportedly a member of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Edgewood Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, was arrested on five counts of child molestation and five counts of child seduction after Buzzard's 19 year-old step-daughter was voluntarily admitted to a hospital for treatment for mental health issues. During treatment, she disclosed that Buzzard had started molesting her when she was in the 4th grade, that Buzzard had started having intercourse with her during her 6th grade in school, and that Buzzard had continued doing so until she reached age 18, in June 2011. The step-daughter told police that Buzzard had threatened to commit suicide when she informed him of her plans to report him to authorities. At trial, the step-daughter described how Buzzard used her mother's terminal illness to manipulate the relationship and to trap and isolate her.
In January 2014, Jeffrey Charles Buzzard was convicted on all ten counts, and in February 2014 was sentenced to a total of 126 years in prison. Throughout his arrest and prosecution, Buzzard adamantly denied every allegation, posed himself as the actual victim, and compared his prosecution to that of the "Salem Witch Trials" -- a "typical" Jehovah's Witness.
NOT ALL CHILD MOLESTERS ARE MEN
My Jehovah's Witness Relatives have long maintained a certain degree of prestige within the local JW community due to my family's JW Matriarch having professed to be "one of the anointed remnant", or, "one of the 144,000", since that distinction in the JW ranks was made by the WatchTower Society back in the 1930s.
Although "Anointed JW Matriarch" never worked outside the home, she also was well-known, or infamous, throughout the local non-JW community as a decades-long preacher of the WatchTower Society's "gospel". Anointed JW Matriarch was a "child" of the "Judge Rutherford" era of the WatchTower Society. She was arrested in the 1940s when other JWs were being arrested. In the 1950s, she had a monthly pro-WatchTower column published in the local newspaper, which brought her even more local notoriety. In 1958, Anointed JW Matriarch was amongst the record-setting attendees at the WatchTower Society's much heralded International Convention held in Yankee Stadium.
Anointed JW Matriarch reared three sons and two daughters, and sadly, many of her grandchildren --- for various reasons, including lack of parenting skills and lack of maternal and paternal instinct on the part of Anointed JW Matriarch's own children. Despite the fact that it was known that Anointed JW Matriarch liked her sons better than her daughters, only her two daughters became and remained JWs.
Both JW Daughters have repeatedly professed that they each look forward to living in the WatchTower's promised earthly paradise -- which they both believe will be co-ruled by their own Mother. Although the two daughters were reared as third-generation Jehovah's Witnesses during the far less morally corrupt 1940s-50s, Youngest Daughter became pregnant out-of-wedlock when she was only 16 years-old, in 1959. After a disastrous marriage and divorce from first Baby-Daddy, Youngest Daughter found her second non-JW husband by breaking up his first marriage. Youngest Daughter did not get baptized until 1973 -- just before Armageddon occurred in October 1975. In the early 1960s, baptized Oldest Daughter did manage to graduate from college before then stupidly marrying a JW Immigrant whom she met at a NYC WatchTower Convention, but that incompatible marriage lasted only briefly. Oldest Daughter shortly thereafter began an affair with an elderly, married non-JW work supervisor, and she was eventually disfellowshiped after the local Body of Elders finally discovered that both Oldest Daughter and Anointed JW Matriarch had kept that first adulterous affair hidden from the congregation. Oldest Daughter thereafter began a relationship with and eventually married another much older non-JW.
Although all of JW Matriarch's grandchildren from children #2 through #5 sporatically attended the Kingdom Hall during their formative years, only three of Anointed JW Matriarch's multiple grandchildren ever became JWs, but none of the three are JWs now. None of Anointed JW Matriarch's great-grandchildren nor great-great-grandchildren ever became JWs.
Although known to be Anointed JW Matriarch's "favorite" child, her oldest Son totally rejected not only his JW Mother's WatchTower faith, but even faith in God and the Bible. As soon as he graduated high school in the latter 1940s, he enlisted in the military, and eventually became an airborne ranger. After the military, Oldest Son settled his family about two hours drive from his JW Mother and siblings. Over the decades, Oldest Son visited his JW Mother only infrequently, and then, only briefly.
The remainder of Anointed JW Matriarch's children married and lived locally. Anointed JW Matriarch's second oldest child, "Second Son", also never became a JW, although he occasionally attended meetings into his early 30s. Second Son earned a public reputation for sexual promiscuity during his teen years (1950s), and thereafter even into his senior years. Second Son gradually developed into a psycho-sociopath. Amongst many others, he was known to have propositioned his own mother-in-law early in his marriage, and later in life, he even propositioned at least two of his own daughters-in-law.
Third Son, ... , well let's just say that he is still living, and may eventually read this. Politely, Third Son also completely rejected his mother's WatchTower faith until the WatchTower Society forecast Armageddon for October 1975. Third Son and wife joined the JWs around 1973, but quickly became inactive as soon as it was apparent that 1975 was just another WatchTower false alarm. Third Son was eventually disfellowshipped after several years of inactivity -- for "adultery" Overall, Third Son was only slightly less "messed up" than was Second Son.
One day, about 12+ years after the death of "Anointed JW Matriarch", one of JW Matriarch's many grandsons mistakingly thought it time to reveal something that had long haunted him. Grandson revealed to Anointed JW Matriarch's Oldest Daughter -- by then a JW Pioneer -- that he had once been propositioned by Anointed JW Matriarch when he was a child.
Grandson related that when he was about 11 years old, he had spent the night at his grandparents' house. Sometime after everyone had gone to bed, and after he had fallen asleep, he was awakened and surprised by Anointed JW Matriarch crawling into bed with him. Anointed JW Matriarch, who reeked of wine, and who was dressed only in a bra and panties, snuggled up to him, and began relating an incident of fornication she had committed in her younger years. Grandson ignored Anointed JW Matriarch as much as possible, turned over and away from her, and pretended to go back to sleep. Drunken Anointed JW Matriarch soon fell asleep, and was gone by the morning.
Grandson also revealed to Oldest Daughter something else that he had never revealed to anyone. Even before he was old enough to enter grade school, he had begun to have the same nightmare that repeated itself until he was 8 or 9 years old. Even as a youngster, Grandson could never remember what about the nightmare so scared him, but only that "it" always occurred in his grandparents' bed.
JW Pioneer Oldest Daughter glared silently at Grandson as he revealed these "secrets". When he had finished, JW Pioneer Oldest Daughter proceeded to denounce Grandson as a "liar", and quickly departed in a "huff" -- never to raise the issue again, even after she did eventually start speaking to him again.
Grandson gradually repeated his "secrets" to some of his other non-JW relatives over the years. While not called a "liar" by the non-JWs, neither was there much of a reaction from them -- not even shock nor surprise. Time passed. Then, one day, Grandson not only told his "secrets" to the widow of "Second Son", but expressed his puzzlement as to why noone in the family had much of a reaction, except for JW Daughter's denunciation.
Second Son's Widow then told Grandson something that she had been keeping a secret since Second Son's death. Widow related that shortly before Second Son's gradual death, he revealed to her that his Mother, Anointed JW Matriarch, had regularly sexually molested him when he was a youngster. The molestation had even included full intercourse, which continued until Second Son reached puberty.
A clue had always been there. Anointed JW Matriarch's lifelong "pet name" for Second Son had been, "My Little Man".
JEHOVAH'S WITNESS INCEST. In the late 1970s, a family of Jehovah's Witnesses "NEEDGREATERS" moved from southern California to serve with the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Needgreaters are JW families who move to areas where there are few JWs, and the entire family door knocks 20-25 hours per week. Various family members -- parents and children -- thereafter regularly pioneered and regularly auxilary pioneered for years. In the latter 1980s, the newlywed husband of the last daughter to marry from this JW Needgreater family discovered that his newlywed wife was no novice when it came to sexual matters. She eventually disclosed that she and her father had been regularly having sexual relations for years -- since she was a young teen -- and this allegedly was a family practice that had involved her older sister(s), and was allegedly practiced with the knowledge of the JW Mother. The newlywed JW Husband took this information to the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Body of Elders. Incestuous JW Father, who was then a Ministerial Servant, Literature Servant, and Pioneer, reportedly lost all his "privileges" in the congregation, and was "publicly reproved", but without the reason(s) for such being publically disclosed to the other members of the congregation. In fact, inquiring members were told that Incestuous JW Father had been co-mingling funds while acting as Literature Servant. Shortly thereafter, Incestuous JW Father and Mother relocated themselves and their residential carpet cleaning business to Corbin, Kentucky -- a small southeastern Kentucky city only 40 miles away. No report was ever made to California nor Kentucky authorities, despite the fact that in succeeding years that numerous JW Elders in neighboring southeastern Kentucky congregations were told of this criminal scenario.
That was not the last time that the Body of Elders at the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, concealed criminal activity of a sexual nature committed by one of their members from local and state law enforcement. In 1998-9, a married Jehovah's Witness Husband-with-child was caught by his JW Wife carrying on a casual sexual affair with the 13 year-old granddaughter of their elderly non-JW female neighbor. JW Husband had somehow become acquainted with the 13 year-old girl while employed by one of the local JW Elders, whose home and contracting business were located next door to the home of the teen and her grandmother. Shortly after switching employment, JW Husband and family moved to a house which also was next door to the home of the non-JW GrandMother and her granddaughter. It is not known if the sexual affair began while JW Husband was working for JW Elder, or later, after JW Husband moved next door. However, when JW Wife went crying to the Body of Elders with the news of JW Husband's infidelity, JW Wife told the BOE that she had already had multiple conversations with the 13 year-old's GrandMother regarding the situation. Presumably to determine the extent of the spread of bad publicity, and the possibility of conducting damage control, JW Elder hurried to meet with the non-JW grandmother, first, and then later, with other JWs to whom JW Wife had blabbed before warned against such by the BOE. Whatever JW Elder did or said during his meeting with non-JW GrandMother is not known, but the end result was that the crime was not reported to authorities, and local JWs were tactfully advised not to spread knowledge of the crime any further. Eventually, JW Husband was merely "privately reproved" for this minor indiscretion of committing statutory rape.
The result - results? Around 2001-2, JW Husband was "investigated" for alleged attempted sexual assault on a sleeping 17 year-old female non-relative, who along with a teenage female relative of JW Wife, were spending the night at their home. In 2004, this same offender was arrested and did limited jail time for carrying on a sexual affair with his wife's 14 year-old cousin, who had temporarily moved in with his family due to issues with her own parents. In this instance, the 14 year-old eventually revealed the sexual affair to a school friend, who in turn disclosed the "secret" to her own Baptist Pastor, who in turn notified authorities.
KENTUCKY v. DANIEL MUDGE was a 2006-7 Kentucky criminal court case which involved Daniel Scott Mudge, age 25, of Danville, Kentucky, in Boyle County, Kentucky. Given that Daniel S. Mudge is the son of prominent Jehovah's Witness Elder, Donald Mudge, a/k/a Don Mudge, whose status as a Jehovah's Witness Presiding Overseer and Special Pioneer has been featured in multiple media articles in New York as well as Kentucky, including one that indicated that he and his son were "partners" in Super Clean Carpets Inc., it is likely that Dan Mudge was also a JW Elder at the time. Notably, no mention was made of Mudge's status as a Jehovah's Witness Minister in the local media's extremely abbreviated coverage of this criminal matter. (A now-retired prominent local JW Elder may still have been employed at the time by the entity that reports/controls news for that area.) In June 2006, the married-with-child Daniel Mudge traveled to an adjacent county to meet a 15 year-old female for sex. Mudge was highly disappointed when he was met by law enforcement officers, who informed him that he had been communicating via computer with a police sting operation. In January 2007, Mudge pleaded guilty to charges of criminal attempt to unlawfully transact with a minor under 16, and distribution of obscene matter to a minor (certain photos of himself). Mudge was sentenced to five years in prison, but did not serve the entire sentence. Notably, Dan Mudge had served only one day in local jail prior to prison sentencing, which indicates that someone hurried to bail him out of jail when he was initially arrested.
KENTUCKY v. GEORGE VERNON was a 1992-3 Kentucky criminal court case involving a Jehovah's Witness Elder or MS named George Vernon, of the London, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Laurel County, Kentucky. In the late 1980s, George Vernon befriended the three children (two boys and a girl) of a single JW Mother (an elementary schoolteacher) in the London congregation, supposedly due to there being no fatherly presence. At some point thereafter, one or more of the children told the JW Mother that Vernon was touching them inappropriately. The JW Mother reported this to the local Elders, but Vernon denied such. When the Elders told JW Mother that Vernon had denied such, and no more could be done, JW Mother mentioned reporting such to the local police. However, the Elders warned JW Mother that she could be disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for defaming Vernon. Thereafter, JW Mother and family were allegedly "marked" and shunned within the congregation. Much later, the "touching" was reported to a school authority by one of the children. The school dutifully reported the matter to the police, who investigated and charged Vernon. The local Prosecutor thought that he had a slam-dunk case. That was, until the trial. The Prosecutor got little if any cooperation from anyone other than the victims and their mother. Each session, the seats behind Vernon were packed with local JWs supporting him; with the seats behind the victims being nearly empty. Vernon was ultimately convicted on a lesser charge that resulted in only one year in county jail. Afterwards, the Prosecutor naively sent a futile letter to the WatchTower Society outlining the injustices at the hands of the local JWs that had occurred during the investigation and prosecution, along with his disgust.
KENTUCKY v. THOMAS DEWAYNE STRATTON was a 2010-11 Kentucky criminal court case. Thomas D. Stratton, age 37, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, was indicted by a Mercer County Grand Jury, in November 2010, on the charge of first-degree sexual abuse, for allegedly subjecting a girl under the age of 12 to sexual contact, between January and June of 2010 (rumored to have been Stratton's step-daughter). In July 2011, in what was probably a plea deal, Thomas Stratton was sentenced to four years in prison on the amended charge of second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. Apparently, noone had bailed Stratton out of county jail given that he received credit for 266 days served.
SOUTH CAROLINA v. CLIFTON REED JR was a 2008-09 South Carolina criminal court case which involved an African-American male Jehovah's Witness, named Clifton Reed Jr., aka Reed Clifton Jr., then age 28, who apparently was originally from the New York City area, and whom may currently be living in NYC, or elsewhere. In February 2008, Clifton Reed was arrested on charges of Obscene/Criminal Solicitation of a Minor. Interestingly, Reed had made the acquaintance of a 14 year-old female minor while attending a Jehovah's Witnesses "Get-Together" held in Charleston, South Carolina, which had been held two months earlier back during the Christmas - New Years holidays. Thereafter, the 27 year-old Reed began communicating with the 14 year-old teenager via text, telephone, and social media. Those communications rapidly evolved into solicitations for sex with the minor. The teenager reported the inappropriate communications to her JW Parents, who in turn reported Reed to local police. Clifton Reed was convicted in March 2009, and apparently served an unknown short jail or prison term. Clifton Reed Jr. is supposed to be a registered sex offender, but his current residence is unknown.
FLORIDA v. FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER WONG was a 2012-13 Florida criminal court case which involved a Fort Myers, Florida, Jehovah's Witnesss Elder named Francis C. Wong, who is of Chinese heritage. From 2001 to 2011, Francis Wong reportedly molested seven or more young males, ages 11 through age 17, who attended the same Cape Coral Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. In January 2012, Wong, age 41, was arrested on multiple charges of lewd and lacivious behavior. After spending only one day in jail, Wong was released on bond, but thereafter fled to Brooklyn, New York. Wong was eventually caught, and in November 2013, Francis Wong was convicted of multiple counts of lewd or lascivious molestation, and battery. Wong was sentenced to life plus 60 years.
OKLAHOMA v. STACEY GARRETT BEGAY and OKLAHOMA v. TERRY D. BEGAY were related 2011-12 Oklahoma criminal court prosecutions. In April 2011, Tahlequah, Oklahoma police rushed to the rental home of Stacey Begay and Terry Begay after neighbors heard gunfire. There, Tahlequah police discovered that Terry Begay had fired a 9mm pistol four times at her husband, Stacey Begay, and once at her own 16 year-old daughter. Neither were struck by the shots -- although four bullet holes were found in the walls, and another in a couch. Terry Begay told police that she had just returned home and discovered her husband and her daughter engaging in sexual activity. Stacey Begay, age 46, was arrested on child abuse charges, while Terry Begay, age 46, was arrested on multiple assault charges. Stacey Begay later admitted that he and his "adopted" 16 year-old daughter had been engaging in sex for about five months.
The local Okie Prosecutor dropped the assault charges against Terry Begay, and gave her immunity, in exchange for her testifying in the prosecution of Stacey Begay. However, during the September 2012 trial, Terry Begay refused to uphold her side of the bargain, and she was arrested and charged with perjury. Outcome unknown.
At the September 2012 trial of Stacey G. Begay, not only did Terry Begay refuse to testify against her husband, but Stacey Begay recanted his earlier confession, and claimed that he did not remember making the confession, and that he had signed the confession while in a "zombie state", while on unspecified "medication". Presently, not only do Stacey and Terry Begay now claim that their "adopted" daughter was lying about having had a sexual relationship with Stacey Begay, but even that "adopted daughter" has now recanted her previous statements, and says that there was no sexual relationship.
Despite such, Stacey Garratt Begay was convicted by a jury of his peers. In November 2012, Stacey G. Begay was sentenced to 30 years in prison, where he will have to serve at least 85% of the sentence. Interestingly, three members -- probably the "Elders" -- of the Tahlequah, Oklahoma Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses submitted positive "character" statements to the court on behalf of Stacey Begay. According to the pre-sentence report, Stacey G. Begay asked the court to consider his plea for parole so that "I can keep on doing Jehovah’s will."
CALIFORNIA v. CHARLES JONES (1991) and CALIFORNIA v. CHARLES JONES (1996-2012). Described as "very religious", Charles Jones has been a Jehovah's Witness since 1980. Jones has testified at trial that he considers his WatchTower religion to be "very important in his life". At least two psychologists have also labeled Jones a "pedophile", and the state of California has adjudged Jones to be a "Sexually Violent Predator". Jones has repeatedly blamed his personal problems on a dysfunctional marriage, including the fact that his wife was not a Jehovah's Witness, and the fact that his own WatchTower religion discouraged him from divorcing her. Jones has admitted to one psychologist that as early as 1985 that he would visit public swimming pools in order to "touch" young children. Jones' first pedophilia-related prosecution came in 1991, when he molested a 4 year-old girl at an apartment complex, while working at his window blind cleaning business. Jones was convicted of that assault, as well as on charges that he exposed himself to another 7 year-old girl and a 3 year-old boy during that same assault. Jones was sentenced to one year in jail, probation, and mandatory counseling.
Jones claims that at the time of the 1991 offense that he was then "disfellowshipped" because of his habit of visiting prostitutes due to his wife's failure to maintain a normal sexual relationship with him. Jones was "reinstated" in 1994, and Jones was encouraged to begin participating in door-to-door recruiting. In 1996, while still on probation from the 1991 offense, and while continuing to receive court ordered counseling, Jones molested a five-year-old girl while cleaning window blinds in that girl's home. Jones was sent to prison for a total of six years for that offense. Jones chose to stay in county jail at the end of his prison sentence, rather than be transferred to a state hospital where he would receive treatment for his mental illness. In November 2007, the DA filed a petition for Jones's commitment under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act. The trial court determined that Jones was an SVP. The court committed Jones to the Department of Mental Health for treatment and confinement in a secure facility for an indeterminate term. In February 2012, the California Court of Appeals affirmed that Jones was a SVP, but remanded Jones' case back to trial court on the issue of length of confinement.
Interestingly, similar to the CARY VERSE case summarized below, Charles Jones has indicated that if he is released that he plans to reside with a fellow Jehovah's Witness in Coalinga, California, and that he has arranged for a job and a circle of support in Fresno. Jones claims that he last went house-to-house to share his WatchTower beliefs in 1994 or 1995, but says that he does not think he would reoffend if he went door-to-door in the future -- because the "brother" with whom Jones would go out in service would supposedly be informed of Jones' history of child molestation.
WASHINGTON v. JASCHA GABRIEL KOZELISKY was a 2002 state of Washington criminal case. According to state records, Jascha G. Kozelisky was convicted (possibly a plea bargain) of fourth-degree assault in 2002. Reportedly, Kozelisky had assaulted (non-sexual) a young female child. (Some former members of Josh Kozelisky's congregation have publicly alleged that the "original" charge/investigation was "sexually-related".)
TEXAS v. ROBERT ALLEN LEE was a 1992-1997 Texas criminal court case. In February 1993, Robert A. Lee, age 43, was indicted for aggravated sexual contact with a child under 14 years of age. Pursuant to a plea bargain agreement, Robert Lee pleaded guilty to the reduced offense of sexual assault. Lee was sentenced to 10 years in prison, probated for 8 years, and a small fine. Bob Lee was released from prison in April 1995 under multiple terms of probation, including that he have no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
In June 1995, Lee reported to his probation officer that he was spending two days per week in field service activity. Lee stated that he was going door-to-door in residential neighborhoods and "witnessing" as a Jehovah's Witness, along with other members of his JW congregation. Lee refused to identify the neighborhoods; refused to specifically define "witnessing", and refused to identify the JWs who accompanied him. Lee's probation officer concluded that through these activities Lee could come into contact with children in violation of a condition of his probation. Upon receiving the probation officer's report, the trial court conducted a hearing and ordered Lee to stop witnessing door-to-door. However, Lee was told that he could continue "witnessing" in places where there were no children, such as nursing homes.
Lee supposedly stopped witnessing door-to-door, but began witnessing by telephone. Lee's probation officer then became concerned that Lee might be telephoning children. In July 1995, Lee refused to answer questions whether he was having contact with children, and Lee also refused to answer questions about his telephone witnessing activities -- contending that his "witnessing" was none of the probation officer's business. For those, and other probation violations, Lee's probation was revoked, and he was sentenced to 7 years in prison. On Lee's appeal, the Texas Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's sentence, stating in part:
In applying the three Simpson factors for determining whether probationary conditions are valid to a determination of whether [probation officer's] questions were valid, we note that [probation officer's] questions regarding appellant's religious activities, although probably poorly phrased, were directly related to the crime of sexual assault, were directly related to criminal conduct, were designed to prohibit conduct that was reasonably related to future episodes of sexual assault, and served the statutory ends of probation that appellant successfully complete his probation without committing further acts of sexual assault. [Probation officer] was attempting to determine whether appellant was complying with the condition of his probation prohibiting contact with minors. Restricting a sex offender's right to roam residential neighborhoods and telephone strangers contributes significantly both to the rehabilitation of the convicted person and to the protection of society.
In applying Simpson's analysis of this issue to our case, we note that [probation officer's] questions did not relegate to a nonjudicial officer the unrestricted right to make appellant's religious decisions, were not subjective and ambiguous, and did not exceed the diminished expectation of privacy of a probationer allowed to remain at conditional liberty after conviction of a crime. Any convicted sex offender can expect questions from his probation officer regarding his or her contact with minors, even if this contact is made in connection with "religious activities." ... ...
In applying the Macias factors to [probation officer's] questions, we note that [probation officer's] questions were reasonably related to the purposes of probation because they were designed to provide [probation officer] with information necessary to determine whether appellant was contacting minors in violation of a condition of his probation. [Probation officer's] questions also advanced the probationary purposes of protecting society from the wanderings of a sex offender and deterring appellant from using his religious activities as a means for finding potential victims. We conclude that application of the analyses of both Simpson and Macias to this case leads to the reasonable conclusion that [probation officer's] questions were not unduly intrusive into appellant's religious freedom.
CALIFORNIA v. MICHAEL JAMES SMITH is a 1994-2011 ongoing California case involving a Jehovah's Witness named Michael J. Smith. In 1994, Michael Smith was charged with 56 counts stemming from his molestation of four boys in their early teens. Smith met all of his victims through his painting business. In each case, Smith "groomed his victims" by offering them employment, and then befriending them, buying them gifts, taking them on trips, and inviting them into his home. After establishing a trusted relationship, he would molest the boys. Smith pled guilty to 2-3 counts against each of the four victims; and in exchange, the remaining 45 counts were dismissed, and Smith was sentenced to 21 years in state prison.
In May 2005, Smith was released from prison and placed on parole. One of the conditions of parole was that he not have contact with anyone under the age of 18 without the permission of his parole officer. Smith secured full-time employment as a parking lot attendant manager. Smith attended a relapse prevention sexual offender treatment program three times per week. As a Jehovahs Witness, Michael Smith also attended a Napa County Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at least three times per week.
In December 2005, Smith's parole officer gave permission for Smith to move to an apartment building where there were children. In February 2006, while doing some painting for his landlord, Smith paid an 11 year-old neighbor's boy to help him paint. Thereafter, Smith started buying the boy presents and inviting him to Smith's apartment. In July 2006, the boy's parents finally learned that Smith was a registered sex offender, and advised Smith's parole officer about Smith's relationship with their son. While being detained for his parole violation, a petition to commit Smith as an "Sexually Violent Predator" was filed. At the conclusion of a five-day court trial, the court found that Smith qualified as an SVP, and committed Smith to the custody of the Department of Mental Health for an indeterminate commitment. Smith's attempts to be released have thus far been unsuccessful.
CALIFORNIA v. DANE SCOTT is an EXTREMELY INTERESTING 2001-11 California criminal court case. From Summer 1999 until Summer 2000, Dane "Scotty" Scott worked with fellow Jehvah's Witnesses Jose X and Elder James McQueen at the same Santa Clara, California home improvement company, which was owned by Jehovah's Witnesses, and whose employees were mainly Jehovah's Witnesses.
In December 1999, then 39 year-old Jehovah's Witness Dane Scott "coincidentally" met a 12 year-old Jehovah's Witness, named "Jamie" at a Santa Clara Mall. Starting a few days later, Scott began visiting Jamie's home while her JW Parents were at work. Scott would leave Jamie small amounts of money after she allowed him to fondle her. Over the next 12 months (2000-2001), the sexual conduct gradually progressed to full intercourse. Jamie's JW Mother caught her with a pregnancy test kit in January 2001, and Jamie revealed the affair. Interestingly, it took three days for Jamie's JW Mother to call the police. After a month of investigation, Scott was arrested in late February 2001. By the time this case went to trial in November 2001, Jamie already had been impregnated by some other male.
In July 2000, then 40 year-old Dane Scott, who had by then changed employment, stopped by the home of former co-worker and fellow Jehovah's Witness, Jose X, during the middle of the afternoon. Jose X's 14 year-old daughter Sandra supposedly told Scott that her father was not home and went back to drying her hair after a recent shower. Coincidentally, only a few minutes later, Sandra went into the backyard to pick up after the family's two pitbulls, where Sandra found Scott sitting -- with at least one the family's two pitbulls present. Sandra supposedly ignored Scott, and began picking up after the pitbulls. Scott supposedly embraced Sandra from behind for about five minutes, while fondling her breasts and rubbing his erect penis into her backside. While one of pitbulls watched, Scott dragged Sandra into the garage, forced her onto a couch, and began unbuckling his pants. Sandra then summoned the pitbull, so Scott let her go. Sandra ran into the house, locked the door, and woke up her sleeping JW Mother. Sandra told JW Mother that Scott "had tried to embrace her". Mother and Sandra locked all the doors and windows as Scott went around trying such and hollering for Sandra to come out. JW Mother telephoned Jose X at work, and told him only that Scott was at their house, and was acting strange. Jose X arrived quickly as Scott walked down the driveway. Scott simply hung his head as Jose X chastised him for coming to his house when Scott knew he wasn't there, and scaring his wife and child. Scott was ordered never to return.
Jose X reported Scott to the JW Elders at Scott's Santa Clara Kingdom Hall. Former co-worker Elder James McQueen and Elder Sal Palma met with the family to investigate whether "porneia" had occurred. Sandra reported only that Scott had touched her breasts through her clothes as he embraced her from behind. Sandra denied any direct contact with her breasts or genitals, and did not tell them that Scott had pulled her into the garage. After discussing the matter, and feeling that the matter had been solved by Jose X's ordering Scott to stay away, the two JW Elders and two JW Parents decided not to call the police, and Elder James McQueen even destroyed his notes.
Although Dane Scott was arrested in February 2001, Santa Clara Police did not learn about the "Sandra Incident" until August 2001, when Sandra disclosed the incident to her "psychotherapist". Sandra and her family, and probably every JW in the greater Santa Clara area, knew that Scott was in jail for his affair with Jamie -- the 12-13 year-old Jehovah's Witness. Although Sandra told her psychotherapist that Scott was in jail, and the Jamie affair was discussed with her psychotherapist a week later by both Sandra and her JW Father, at trial, Sandra testified that she did not know that Scott had been jailed for his affair with Jamie until some time after those meetings with her psychotherapist.
At the November-December 2001 trial, for the "Jamie Affair", Dane Myron Scott was convicted of three counts of lewd touching, one count of digital penetration, and one count of sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 14. For the "Sandra Incident", Scott was convicted of one count of lewd touching and one count of misdemeanor assault. Because Scott had four prior convictions for residential burglary and possession of stolen property, and had served two prior prison sentences (before being hired by the Jehovah's Witness Home Improvement Company),California's "three strikes' law kicked in. Scott was sentenced to prison for 100 years to life, and more. Scott's conviction and sentence was affirmed in 2004 by the California Court of Appeals, and he is still "appealing" in 2011.
MISSOURI v. CLARENCE BOUSE was a 2002-2004 Missouri case in which Clarence K. Bouse was convicted of three counts of attempted sexual misconduct involving a child for transmitting a series of six photographs of his genitals via the internet. In November 2001, Clarence Bouse, then age 38, and then working for the Sedalia, Missouri school system, thought he was emailing the photos to a 13 year-old girl living in Livingston County, Missouri, but was in fact exchanging emails with the Sheriff of Livingston County. Bouse made plans with "Carrie" to meet so that they could engage in sex. He also e-mailed several pictures of unidentified couples engaging in sexual activity. Bouse and Carrie eventually made plans to meet at a motel on November 16, 2001, and on November 19, 2001. Bouse, however, never showed up at the motel on either of the planned dates.The state charged Bouse with two counts of attempt to commit statutory rape in the first degree, two counts of attempt to commit statutory sodomy in the first degree, and three counts of attempt to commit sexual misconduct with a child. Bouse waived a jury trial. At the conclusion of the state's evidence, the circuit court granted Bouse's motion for judgment of acquittal on the attempted statutory rape and attempted statutory sodomy counts. The circuit court found Bouse guilty of three counts of attempted sexual misconduct with a child. Bouse's conviction was upheld on his appeal, which mainly dealt with the then poor wording of the relevant Missouri statutes.
Although it is not known if they are one and the same individual, in 1993, a Jehovah's Witness, named Clarence Bouse, of Harrisonville, Missouri, (two counties west of Sedalia, Missouri) filed a federal lawsuit alleging religious discrimination against Capital Cities ABC Inc. and its' newspaper subsidiary, The Kansas City Star, which had fired Bouse from his job as a pressman, in June 1992. (Did Bouse receive his "pressman" training at the WatchTower Society's world headquarters, as have a multitude of former Bethelites who have gone to work for newspapers after leaving "Bethel"???)
VIRGINIA v. PAUL SUTHERLAND was a 2011-12 Virginia criminal court case. In April 2012, Paul Sutherland, age 46, of Lebanon, Virginia, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of carnal knowledge of a minor and three counts of forcible sodomy related to his having sexually molested his youngest daughter over a lengthy period of time. In May 2012, Sutherland was sentenced to 90 years in state prison, of which, 45 years must be served. Two to four local JWs reportedly testified on Sutherland's behalf during the sentencing phase of the trial.
Local JW leaders attempted to claim that Sutherland was merely a recent convert, whose recent conversion led him to ceasing the molestation. However, other locals have alleged that Sutherland's wife and other family members were longtime Jehovah's Witnesses, and that Suherland had "been around" the WatchTower religion for several years. Interestingly, they also allege that the molestation had continued throughout Sutherland's "conversion", and for eight months thereafter, until the molestation was finally made public after Sutherland and his wife separated -- possibly after JW Wife discovered that Sutherland had a girlfriend on the side.
MISSOURI v. JIM MAZUR was a 2005-07 Missouri state criminal court case. In June 2005, Jim N. Mazur, then age 63, who then lived in Missouri Valley, Iowa, was charged in Taney County (Branson), Missouri with statutory sodomy relating to the February 2005 molestation of his 7 year-old granddaughter while he and his wife, Bonnie Mazur, visited overnight at the home of a son living in Branson. In June 2007, Mazur pleaded guilty to an amended charge of first degree child molestation, and was sentenced to five years in state prison. Mazur served less than his full sentence. After Mazur's release on bond after arrest, and until time of trial, Mazur allegedly lived with Jehovah's Witness in-laws in Blair, Nebraska -- allegedly a JW Elder and Elderette. This court case was submitted by a tipster who alleges that Jim Mazur was a longtime JW Elder (for several years the Presiding Overseer at the Fort Scott Kansas Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses) who is a member of a large extended, multi-generation family of Jehovah's Witnesses (including family names other than Mazur) who have held prominent Elder and Presiding Overseer positions in Jehovah's Witness Congregations and WatchTower circuits located in Missouri, California, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and possibly other western states. A second tipster insider alleges that this large, extended MAZUR Family of prominent JW Elders and JW COBEs has multiple secret alchoholics and multiple secret child molestors which has resulted in many of the family's children being "messed up" as adults, plus alleges that there even has been at least one suicide by a family incest victim. Additional documented info welcomed.
KEVIN ROY v. LAKE COUNTY JAIL, ET AL was a 2009-2010 Indiana federal court case. Kevin Roy, approximately age 50, and confined in the Indiana Department of Corrections, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Lake County Jail officials violated his right to practice his WatchTower religion while he was confined at the jail as a pretrial detainee for nine months in 2007-2008. In 2010, the USDC denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Here is a pertinent excerpt:
Roy alleges that the defendants prevented him from practicing his religion while he was at the Lake County Jail. He specifically asserts that he is a Jehovah's Witness, that jail officials would not allow Jehovah's Witnesses to conduct group worship in the jail chapel even though other denominations were allowed to do so, and that jail officials made it difficult for his minister [a local JW named CHASE] to give him spiritual guidance and eventually refused to let him come in the jail. ... "
Googling key terms yields a sex offender website, which lists a Kevin Roy, who then was a 47 year-old African-American male, who had been charged in Lake County, Indiana, under Indiana Criminal Code 35-42-4-3: Child molesting. Googling key terms also yields a Kevin Roy who held a school teacher's certificate (Physical Sciences) in the state of Indiana from 1989 until August 2006, when such expired.
PATTERSON v. PATTERSON and OHIO v. JAMIE LEE PATTERSON were related 2004-5 Ohio civil and criminal court cases which involved a Jehovah's Witness Family in Alliance, Ohio. In 2003, Jamie L. Patterson, then age 35, and Regina Patterson, then age 33, had three children -- the oldest being a boy, and the two youngest being girls. Gina Patterson began to observe situations which made her suspect that improper sexual activity was occurring between her husband and their oldest daughter, who was only six years old. After an incident in October 2003, when her daughter had physical signs of molestation, and told her that such were caused by touching by the father, Gina Patterson separated from Jamie Patterson, and filed for divorce in February, 2004. Gina Patterson reported the situation to Department of Family Services, who in turn notified local police. After a thorough investigation, Jamie Lee Patterson was indicted in December 2004 by the Stark County Grand Jury on a charge of Gross Sexual Imposition On a Victim Under Age 13. A jury found Jamie Patterson guilty of one count of Gross Sexual Imposition. The trial court sentenced Patterson to a three year term of imprisonment, and adjudicated him a sexual predator.
CALIFORNIA JEHOVAH'S WITNESS RAPIST. In 1995 and 1996, an early 20s age Married JW Male reportedly sexually assaulted two different teenaged fellow Jehovah's Witness females living in Riverside, California , but he was never prosecuted for those specific crimes. Married JW Male was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting a youthful non-JW coworker in the early 2000s, and served a short prison term, after that non-JW Victim reported his assault to the authorities.
JW Teen alleged that Married JW Male continued to come to her home when her parents weren't there, but she would not let him inside. JW Teen #1 further alleged that, in August 1996, on a day when she was again home alone, and while she had been smoking marijuana and drinking wine, that Married JW Male entered her home through an unlocked door. Married JW Male and JW Teen ended up performing oral sex on each other.
JW Teen #1 has publicly stated that she EVENTUALLY confessed the events to her local Jehovah's Witness Elders, and that it was only SOMETIME THEREAFTER that she reported the alleged sexual assaults to the local police.
JW Teen #2 publicly alleged that she was also sexually assaulted by that very same early 20s aged Married JW Male during the same time period that he sexually assaulted JW Teen #1. JW Teen #2 alleges that around 1995/6, when she was 15 years-old, that she attended a pool-party "get-together" at the home of a fellow Jehovah's Witness, which was also attended by Married JW Male and his JW Wife. JW Teen alleges that that JW Wife left the party at some point. JW Teen claims that when the other partying JWs eventually went inside to eat, that Married JW Male got into the jacuzzi with her. Married JW Male allegedly
proceeded to fondle her. He also allegedly forced her to masterbate him. JW Teen #2 eventually told her Psychologist about the sexual assault, who encouraged that such be reported to the police. Again, Married JW Male was never prosecuted.
It was not until the early 2000s that these two former Jehovah's Witness Females took the witness stand and told their stories during Married JW Male's later prosecution and conviction for having sexually assaulted a youthful non-JW co-worker. Does anyone else suspect that there is more to these accounts, and that the lack of the two earlier prosecutions were not the fault of the local police or the local Prosecutor's office? Me suspects that the local JW Elders did not become anxious to nail Married JW Male until after he was disfellowshipped after being publicly charged for sexual assault by his non-JW co-worker.
PENNSYLVANIA v. MERVIN TORIAN SR. Mervin Torian Sr., African-American male, DOB 2/21/1969, started serving a lengthy prison sentence in the mid-1990s, on charges of incest, rape, and corruption of a minor.
OHIO v. AARON M. MAY. Aaron May, African-American male, DOB 3/23/1973, started serving a lengthy prison sentence in the early 1990s, on charges of first degree rape of a male minor, and first degree rape of a female minor.
NEW JERSEY v. DYKSTRA was a 2001-3 New Jersey murder court case. In August 2003, a 26 year-old Jehovah's Witness, named Cole Dykstra, son of a JW Mother, named Nancy Dykstra, plea bargained "guilty" to reduced charges of "aggravated manslaughter", and was sentenced to 28 years in prison, for the August 2001 murder of 16 year-old Arthur Trussell.
Cole Dykstra allegedly had recently served as a volunteer "Bethelite" at WatchTower Society world headquarters. Dykstra allegedly either had been kicked out of WatchTower HQ, or had suffered other organizational sanctions, due to alleged homosexual tendencies and/or activities. Dykstra reportedly thereafter attempted suicide. Around October/November 2000, a Ringwood, New Jersey Jehovah's Witness couple, named Terrence Trussell and Vicki Sue Trussell, invited Dykstra to live with them and their two teenaged sons, Andrew Trussell and Arthur Trussell, while he sorted through his personal issues.
It is not known whether the Trussells had known Cole Dykstra prior to his having volunteered at WatchTower HQ, or whether all these Jehovah's Witnesses were recent acquaintances at the West Milford Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. In any event, one can't imagine that the Trussells would have invited Dykstra to live with them and their two teenaged sons if they had known the reasons behind his recent failed suicide attempt. And, if they did not know, such raises even more questions as to why they had not been informed about such by their fellow JWs. Over the ten month period that Cole Dykstra, then 24, had lived with the Trussells, Dykstra had fallen in love with 16 year-old Arthur Trussell, and possibly had made such known via homosexual advances. On the evening of August 5, 2001, 16 year-old Arthur Tressell reportedly had gone out on a date with a female. Such apparently upset Dykstra, and Dykstra and Trussell reportedly argued after Trussell had returned home from the date. Later that night, in the AM hours of August 6, 2001, after Trussell had fallen asleep, Dykstra struck Trussell on the head with a beer bottle, and then stabbed the teenager in his stomach with an 8 inch kitchen knife. Terry Trussell and Vicki Trussell reportedly were alerted to trouble in their home when Dykstra stole and left in one of the family's autos.
ARIZONA v. LEROY GILBERT was a 2003-06 Arizona criminal court case which involved a Jehovah's Witness Elder named Leroy Gilbert, age 78 at time of conviction in December 2004, of Sierra Vista, Arizona. Gilbert pleaded guilty to attempted molestation of a child, and was given the minimum prison sentence of five years. In 2006, the Arizona Court of Appeals denied Gilbert's appeal of the minimum sentence based on his eligibility for probation due to his age and failing health.
Leroy Gilbert's victim was his own granddaughter, whom he repeatedly molested when she spent the night at his home during the 1980s -- when she was under 15 years of age. Granddaughter suffered extensive mental harm from the repeated molestations, including low self-esteem, anger, self-doubt and depression. The victim finally reported her molestations to her Jehovah's Witness Elders around 1997, but Gilbert apparently denied her accusation, and was believed by his fellow Elders. Granddaughter attempted suicide in 1998. In 2003, Granddaughter again raised the matter with local JW Elders and law enforcement. This time, Gilbert admitted the molestations. In Gilbert's prosecution, Granddaughter requested but was denied reimbursement for her mental health expenses due to Gilbert's lack of assets.
A federal jury convicted Brown of kidnapping and aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and the USDC sentenced him to concurrent terms of life in prison. Brown appealed his conviction on several grounds, including his claim that the government had violated his religious freedoms as a Jehovah's Witness when the USDC ordered that Brown submit a blood sample for DNA testing. The USDC had ruled that Brown did not sincerely hold the belief that donating a blood sample for DNA analysis violated the beliefs of the Jehovah's Witness religion. The USCA also ruled against Brown on this issue noting that a JW Elder testified for the prosecution that JWs did not object to giving blood samples or blood testing. Brown submitted WatchTower materials that suggested that some JW might possibly object to giving blood samples, but the court ruled that "Brown failed to show that forbidding blood samples is a 'central tenet' of the Jehovah’s Witness religion."
CALIFORNIA v. JASON GLENN HALVERSON was a 2002 California appellate court case which affirmed the 2001 conviction of Jason G. Halverson on the charges of "sexual battery" and "assault with the intent to commit rape" for which Halverson was sentenced to two years in prison. This conviction related to 26 year-old Jason Halverson's April 2000 sexual assault on an 18 year-old LOWES co-worker at her apartment during her lunch break. Halverson apparently followed his co-worker home and made up an excuse to enter her apartment. There, Halverson repeatedly fondled her, and forced her to fondle him. The non-JW female reported the sexual assault to LOWES management as soon as she returned to work, and thereafter to local police.
FLORIDA v. JEWEL BARTHOLEMEW GRIER was a 2001-2011 Florida criminal court case which involved the "molestation" of four Jehovah's Witness teenagers by a then 30 year-old African-American Jehovah's Witness, named Jewel B. Grier. The four Jehovah's Witnesses were members of the Coconut Creek, Florida Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. The sexual encounters occurred over a period of several months in 1999-2000. The four JW Female Teens (two were 17 years-old , one was 14 years-old, and fourth was ??) kept the sexual encounters quiet until telling their JW Parents in May 2001. Jewel Grier was charged with seventeen counts, including lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, attempted sexual battery, felony battery, battery, and sexual battery. Although there were four victims, the state only prosecuted Grier for crimes against three of the victims. Curiously, the fourth victim did not even testify in the prosecutions.
Sorting out this ten year old and still ongoing case is somewhat difficult because there were two prosecutions -- one with two victims, and a separate prosecution with a victim named Melissa Reynolds, a/k/a Melissa Holmes -- and multiple appeals in Florida Appellate Court and the Florida Supreme Court. The prosecutions may have been separated after the first conviction, in 2004, which was reversed on appeal, and had to be re-tried. Grier was finally sentenced to 15 years in state prison in 2008. He continues to appeal. Interesting excerpt:
The trial court severed the three counts involving one victim, M.R., and stayed the remaining counts involving the other victims. Prior to trial, the State made an ore tenus motion to present testimony from Grier's other alleged victims, L.R., L.H., and P.H., ... . The trial judge ruled that there were an "overwhelming number of points of similarity" between the testimony of the victim and the proffered ... witnesses. Specifically, the trial court noted the following similarities: all four met Grier through their association with the Jehovah's Witnesses; each girl started her "intimacy" with the defendant between the ages of fourteen and seventeen; Grier made comments on each girl's body; Grier was a family friend of each girl (except L.H.); each girl worked with Grier in some capacity; each girl testified that Grier touched her throughout her body; and the alleged molestations happened at both Grier's house and the girls' houses. ... ...
M.R. testified that Grier would kiss and fondle L.H. in her presence, and she related stories that Grier told her regarding L.H. Grier told M.R. that he rubbed his p___ on L.H.'s body and e_______ on her neck. M.R. also explained that Grier kept records where he would "rate" girls based on their looks, character, personality, and spirituality. One of Grier's records stated that M.R. was the "hottest thing on the planet" and asked rhetorically if he would "let things go with just a scratch or a sniff," i.e., whether he would pursue a more intimate sexual relationship with M.R.
Following M.R.'s testimony, the State presented the testimony of the two ... witnesses, L.R. and L.H. L.R. testified that she met Grier at the age of ten when Grier started working with her mother. L.R. explained that she looked up to and trusted Grier as a devout member of her faith. ...
That last statement possibly indicates that Grier had a position and title in the Coconut Creek Florida Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
FLORIDA v. HENRY WILLIAM HAUCH and FLORIDA v. HENRY WILLIAM HAUCH were two 2007 Florida criminal court cases. In June 2006, a 14 year-old Jehovah's Witness female told family members that a Jehovah's Witness ELDER at the Titusville Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, named Henry William Hauch, age 41, of Mims, Florida, had had sex with her in 1999, when she was only 8 years old. She alleged that the assault had occurred when she had stayed the night with, and slept with, Henry W. Hauch and his wife, Aurora Hauch. Police were initially unable to obtain an arrest warrant based on the testimony of the 14 year-old Jehovah's Witness female, but in January 2007, a second female came forward and alleged that Henry Hauch also had sexually molested her. Outcome of both cases unknown.
FLORIDA v. ALTON MCJUNKIN was a 1993-4 Florida criminal court case. In October 1993, Alton Gene McJunkin, age 47, the PRESIDING OVERSEER of the DeBary Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses was accused by an 18 year-old female of sexually assaulting her multiple times between 1986 and 1992. Outcome unknown. Alton McJunkin was a lifelong JW who had been prosecuted during the Vietnam War for refusing to be drafted into the military.
FLORIDA v. ROTELLA was a 2006 Florida criminal court decision. In October 2006, Anthony Wayne Rotella, of Jensen Beach, Florida, pled "guilty" to one count of solicitation to tampering with evidence, and received a 5 year prison sentence. Although the details are unclear, in December 2006, Anthony W. Rotella either again pled guilty, or was convicted, of lewd or lacivious conduct with a minor, which was the original charge for which Tony Rotella was arrested. The additional sentence is not known.
In April 2005, Anthony Rotella, 42, was arrested for offering $20.00 to a 10 year-old boy to have sex with him in the restroom of a Port St. Lucie Super Wal-Mart. During the subsequent investigation, Rotella's computer was seized and found to contain child pornography. During the subsequent months sitting in the Martin County Jail awaiting various hearings, Rotella began to solicit the theft and destruction of his computer hard-drive from the property-evidence room. Rotella also discussed the possible solicitation of the murders of the 10 year-old boy and a former attorney whom Rotella had fired (for which prosecutors considered filing charges, but eventually did not do so due to having been unable to collect sufficient evidence -- see below). Rotella's solicitations came to the attention of the Sheriff in October 2005, and Rotella's visitation sessions and telephone calls were monitored and recorded.
In February 2006, during a series of telephone calls to his sister, Janet, Rotella attempted to use a cryptic "numbers-equal-letters" code, based on the text on page 3 of the January 15, 2006, issue of the WATCHTOWER magazine, to relay a message to his brother, John Rotella, to give a $300.00 money order to the supposed "crooked" Deputy, who Rotella had been led to believe would arrange to steal Rotella's hard-drive from the property-evidence room, and then destroy such.
Although Rotella's mother reportedly nixed the scheme, at least one local media source quoted a local law enforcement official as claiming that Rotellas's siblings wanted to follow through with it, but none of Rotella's family were ever charged. (The "Rotella family" were described as "Jehovah's Witnesses", but the membership status of the aforementioned individual Rotella family members is not known. Notably, Tony Rotella's coded message to his sister required that both he and his outside family members have possession of the exact same back-issue of the WATCHTOWER magazine.) It was the nixing of the scheme to have Rotella's hard-drive stolen and destroyed that prevented the Sheriff's "sting" to continue to its next stage -- the purported murder solicitations -- during which it might have been possible to collect sufficient evidence to charge Rotella with soliciting two murders.
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