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Caretaker Charged with Several Criminal Charges

Case Summary:
The defendant was charged with several criminal charges including assault causing great bodily injury. The charges arose from an incident wherein the alleged victim had accused the defendant of attacking him with various items in the home they were living in, including glass shards from a broken mirror. The District Attorney was insistent that the defendant should go to prison for the alleged crimes. However, after several months of litigation and a great deal of strategy being executed in the case the District Attorney offered probation and the defendant accepted. 

Attorney Comments:
"This was one of the most complex cases I've been a part of and it will take some explaining. My client was the caretaker for the alleged victim. Both of them resided in my client's home and my client received some amount of compensation from the State for her role in providing care to the alleged victim. The alleged victim was also a relative to my client and the alleged victim also believed he was entitled to my client's home. The alleged victim weighed easily 400 lbs and, from our perspective, was a pervert who was taking advantage of my client. During the months that my client was providing care he progressively took advantage of my client's care taking to the point where he would demand that she give him sponge baths, which would include cleaning his genitals. The alleged victim became more demanding and also used these sponge baths for his personal sexual gratification. During one of these baths the alleged victim sexual assaulted my client and my client responded by slapping the alleged victim. Because the alleged victim was grossly obese this caused him to stumble backwards and fall into a wall. The impact caused a mirror to fall off the wall on top of the alleged victim and shattered all over the floor. Instead of calling the police to report the sexual assault my client and the alleged victim cleaned up the shards of glass. Hours later bruises began to show up on the victim and, in an effort to garner sympathy, the alleged victim posted these photos to social media. Other people saw the photos and called the police. Due to poor investigative tactics (a common problem with police) my client was arrested.

This is where it starts to get complex. After my client was arrested she could not make bail and remained in jail. The alleged victim began to claim the house was his and also filed multiple claims to the home's insurance policy. He had claimed that a burglary had occurred and people had stolen his personal property. We obtained various audio recorded calls where he had made many false statements about serious topics. In some cases he would tell the police one thing and the insurance company another. Because the District Attorney's goal is usually to get convictions on people (rather than do what is just/right) it was too risky to share all of the information with the District Attorney too soon.

In a separate proceeding my client (represented by an entirely different lawyer) filed an eviction proceeding against the alleged victim. Remember this was my client's house and after my client was arrested the alleged victim continued living at my client's home. He was destroying the home and claiming it was his after she was incarcerated. The alleged victim contested the eviction which resulted in the scheduling of a contested eviction hearing. This provided a unique opportunity. I coordinated with my client's civil attorney (the one representing her in the eviction) that I be the one to cross examine the alleged victim in the context of the eviction proceeding. In short we were able to destroy the alleged victim's credibility in the eviction proceeding and, because the testimony was recorded and given under oath, it would have been exceedingly difficult for the District Attorney to rehabilitate the alleged victim and, consequently, their case. The alleged victim's credibility had been tainted so badly that the judge would later encourage the District Attorney to reconsider their plea offer.

After I shared the audio recording of the eviction proceeding with the District Attorney the District Attorney reconsidered their previous offer of prison and subsequently offered to have my client receive probation and get credit for time served for the amount of jail she had already done. Although I advised that I thought we should still proceed to trial because I thought we had a very strong defense my client ultimately decided to accept the offer and resolve the case. My client was physically, emotionally, and mentally worn out after months of litigation and did not want to continue to fight. This is a perfect example of the heavy toll criminal prosecutions take on individuals - especially individuals who are being unjustly prosecuted - and why I tell people innocent people are convicted of crimes every day." 

Siskiyou County, California

Actual Case Summaries
Be advised that I never promise a client a particular outcome, details of prior cases should not be taken as an indication that other clients will necessarily see the same results.​

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Thursday, 28 May 2020

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