“Trial Mix”. Let’s talk about the George Huguely murder trial.

We’re now on Day 2 of jury selection in the trial of George Huguely, the University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of murdering his former girlfriend, fellow lacrosse player, Yeardley Love. I’d by lying if I said I didn’t have a dog in this fight for so many reasons. Mr. Huguely is represented by the same defense team that defended one of my rapists, and, seeing the coverage is certainly a bit of a trigger – it’s like time has stopped. Same courtroom, same Rhonda and Fran, same supporters of Miss Love, wearing pink, as my sorority sisters did in solidarity, much to the consternation and objection of Ms. Quagliana.

Courtesy: UVA Sports

It seems as though Judge Hogshire (same judge) is allowing the photographs of the crime scene, in a late decision this past Saturday night. Defense found these photos to be “prejudicial.” I daresay a jury should be allowed to see the photos of the alleged victim. Round One = Prosecution (same prosecutors, Dave and Claude).

In reading the excellent reportage from The Hook, The Daily Progress and WaPo, there seems to be a common thread among many commenters that they’ll be seeing Mr. Huguely “walking on the Downtown Mall” in about 10 years, due to the perception that Charlottesville juries are not so tough on defendants and that Charlottesville Circuit Court has a longtime history of short sentences for felony crimes. Feel free to comment on that one.

All I know is that my thoughts over the next few weeks are not with the ridiculous posturing and machinations of the defense team (they are, after all, doing their job) or how poor George had a terrible upbringing with an abusive, addict of a father and a pleaser of a mother. My thoughts are with Yeardley and her mother and sister and the notion that justice, even in the midst of a liberal jurisdiction and a media blizzard may be done.

May there be strength to all involved and prayers to the family – and wise choices on the parts of the jurors, prosecutors and Judge. I’ll be covering this and other subjects in the foreseeable future. It’s time we began to talk about this again – are University of Virginia (and other campus) women simply collateral damage behind the storied, ivied walls of a very traditional, Southern, sports-and-fraternity loving entity?

Morgan Harrington update

I never like when law enforcement goes “radio silent” on a case, but usually it’s because a) they haven’t got anything new to report or b) they do and they need to keep it from the public while they continue to piece together the investigation. They owe us, the public, nothing and while I know many folks are angry about the lack of information about Morgan’s disappearance, The Hook, a fantastic Charlottesville weekly, has done the best job of covering the story.

Kudos to Courteney Stuart, an editor of the Hook, for her outstanding reporting. Please read this article about what some witnesses are saying.

We pray for the safe return of Morgan to her family and friends. So many unanswered questions.

1) are there any photos of her that night?
2) is there any surveillance video from JPJ Arena?
3) Why is the University of Virginia choosing to remain silent about the case?
4) have the sex offenders in the area been questioned about that night?

Given the massive amount of blog commentary, Courteney has indeed done her homework, though it seems hard to get quite a few of them to stay on topic.

Is Quinn Gray simply bipolar and troubled, or did she try to scam $50K from her husband.


This is such an interesting case – beautiful, wealthy Ponte Vedra, Florida housewife and mother Quinn Gray is alleged to have faked her own kidnapping and rape in order to extort $50K from her husband. Her own husband, Reid Gray, is defending her, as he is an attorney and he believes that her bipolar disorder has played a major role in her claims. Reid Gray believes his wife, despite a 20 minute audio tape of her having seemingly consensual sex with her alleged captor, who is believed to be her co-conspirator and who has rolled on her to the cops.

Her Facebook profile shows a normal 37-year-old wife and mom who liked television, hip hop music and living in her $4 million dollar home with her family. Reid Gray believes she may have been on a manic cycle of her bipolar illness and believed she was in danger or was in danger. The cops aren’t buying it.

Quinn’s 911 call was disturbing, as she claimed a man named Jasmin Osmanovic abducted her along with 3 others. Osmanovic said he was hired by Quinn to stage the whole thing and get the money as she was having marital and substance abuse problems. It seems he believed they were romantically involved. His girlfriend is the one who turned the audiotapes over to the cops.

The whole story is so disturbing, but I do know this – $50K is probably nothing for this woman to get her hands on and I doubt she would have to stage something so elaborate. That said, I believe her mental illness was certainly at play here. What do you think?

FDLS Polygamist Jessop found guilty of sexual assault.

You all may remember this story about the Texas ranch where older men had entered into marriages with tweens and teens. It seems Raymond Jessop has been found guilty of sexual assault of a minor. His sentencing should happen today.

When sects or cults hide behind religious beliefs to do harm and violate the laws of our nation, I don’t think that freedom of religion should apply, just as in those cases where parents deny terminally ill children treatment when their religion dictates prayer as the only form of healing.

I expect many more cases to come out of the Texas ranch.

Evangelist “Tony Alamo” convicted of sex offenses – says prosecutors basically hate Jesus.

Sometimes I always wonder why rape victims draw the ire of evangelicals. I’ve been on the end of some serious hate mail from evangelicals who tell me to burn in Hell and all of that nonsense (that doesn’t seem very “Christian”, does it?). People drunk with power and their perceived close relationship with Jesus have been in the news a great deal these past years for unspeakable acts against their fellow man. Hey, let’s hear it for hypocrisy!

Well “Tony Alamo” – real name, Bernie Hoffman, who has evangelical churches in three states was convicted of sexually assaulting a number of young girls over the years.

Amen!

What is wrong with the world today?

When I first read this headline, I about screamed. Then, I realized perhaps this man was mentally ill (well, of course he is) and needs help. It seems 150 dead dogs were found in freezers in the man’s Dearborn, Michigan home and another 100 or so alive dogs roaming through feces and trash.

Authorities have taken the dogs (and the man) in. I will say that this is no Michael Vick case, but honestly, at what point do neighbors or family NOT realize there are almost 300 dogs, dead and alive, on a property? How do you even fit that many dogs in a home? What the heck?

Meth kills. Not only people, but dreams. Nicole Bobek – arrested in meth ring.


Nicole Bobek was an extraordinary talent in figure skating. That fairy tale has come to a screeching halt with news of her arrest in a New Jersey meth-distribution ring. It makes me frustrated to think about how a) role models let our kids down and b) what is it about sudden success in youth contributes to the downfall of these talented people? I am not saying she is not culpable, but I think the system of a meteoric rise to fame, then retirement while still young and trying to chase after the 14-year-olds, comes with a price to hard to pay.

I think about, natch, Tonya Harding when I read this. Some continue to fly high and recreate themselves (Kristi Yamagucki, Nancy Kerrigan, Dorothy Hamill, Monica Seles, Mary Lou Retton, Nadia Comaneci, etc.) when the gold medals and world titles fade away. After years of sycophantic praise, some of these young women are left to go back to their small towns and wonder how to reinvent themselves. Miss Bobek clearly chose a path fraught with danger, but I cannot help but think there is no guidance once you are not a winner in the eyes of the fans.

Justice revisited. An excellent article re: Gary Zerola in BoMag.

A few years ago, we heard a lot of activity around accused and acquitted serial rapist (I’m trying to say he was acquitted here – alleged, accused, acquitted, so don’t parse my words!), Gary Zerola.

Many people weigh in on the status of Zerola, the fundraiser, charmer, survivor of a sad childhood. They also weigh in on his dark side. It’s a well-written article by David Copeland and since I’ve received quite a few emails from some of his alleged victims, I thought we’d revisit it via this article, courtesy of Boston Magazine.

Enjoy and comment. As you know, you can always post here anonymously without fear of retribution as long as you keep it without racial slurs or personal attacks of a false nature. I want this to be a safe haven.

One year later – the Oklahoma schoolgirl shootings.

What many lay people don’t understand in many cases is that you can have a great deal of evidence (circumstantial and otherwise) but still be unable to prosecute a case. What seems obvious to many as “open and shut” is anything but and DAs take great care to only prosecute winnable cases. This is difficult for families of victims waiting for an arrest, but is truly the best way of our justice system. No one wants a jury asking for redirection on reasonable doubt and letting a perp go.

The case of the 2 murdered schoolgirls in Oklahoma is a sad, terrifying and frustrating case, but I agree with the spokeswoman who says the are close, but need one more piece of evidence. The public is always looking for the cause/effect nature of crime – “was she drinking? what was she wearing? why was he walking alone at night?” and the like. Cause/effect does not matter in cases of crime. The victims are not to blame. What could possibly be the motive for someone (perhaps 2 people) to slaughter these innocents?

May the parents of these two little girls find the strength they need. It is absolutely frustrating – someone knows and they aren’t talking. They don’t have to.

“She suffered no serious injuries”. Really??? Sickest story of, I believe, the year.

I have long ranted about Craigslist being a haven for criminals (and furniture and babysitters), but it’s time for the government to step in.

This man arranged for the rape of his own wife on Craigslist WHILE HE WATCHED AND HIS CHILDREN WERE IN THE HOUSE. I never use the “f” word on my blog, but what the fuck is wrong with humanity today?

Read and comment please. My heart is broken. I would also like to appeal to the media to use responsible wording in their reports on rape. She will suffer lifelong injuries of the soul and psyche due to this crime. By minimizing the language because she didn’t have, say, obvious lacerations and bruises, you perpetuate the stereotype that rape is not deadly or injurious to victims. You only want to report it properly when the victim is a bloody pulp. Come on, now.

UPDATE: The husband says the wife approved of it and wanted it. Yeah, right. Have we learned nothing about Craigslist?