07-06-2009, 06:15 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
OH - James Vaughan for child sexual assault, Shaker Heights, 2006
(This case is a good example of pathetic lawyering.)
" It started at a seance On Sept. 10, 2006, Vaughan and a friend, Michael Cogan, visited the home of Kelly Ross, who lived several houses away from Vaughan and his fiance on Palmerston Road in Shaker Heights. A woman, who would later accuse Vaughan of inappropriately touching her daughter, was also visiting. The women were drinking heavily. They tucked their young daughters into bed before holding a seance to contact their deceased mothers.
The two women awakened the girls in the middle of the night to join the seance, witnesses said. And before long, the children had fallen asleep on the laps of the adults.
The accuser's mother asked Vaughan to carry her sleeping girl to bed. The request made Vaughan uncomfortable, but he complied.
He returned to the living room, where he continued socializing until the accuser's mother emerged from the hallway and asked the men to leave because the girls were not feeling well.
But the next day, Ross called Vaughan's fianc e with startling news. Police had come to the house after the men left and took one of the girls to the hospital. The girl had accused Vaughan of touching her "privacy."
Vaughan was shocked but could gather no more details of the accusations until Shaker Heights police knocked on his door two weeks later and arrested him. "
"When the girl fell asleep, her mother asked Vaughan to take her to bed. The mother said the girl later told her that Vaughan touched her in her "privacy." But medical records showed no sign of trauma, and a social worker in Summit County, where the accuser lived, said the girl told her Vaughan did not violate her.
Douglas Hyams, the lead police detective on the case for Shaker Heights, testified that he spent 45 minutes on the entire investigation and that he never set foot in the home where the incident reportedly occurred.
Defense lawyers hired private investigator Keith King, a former detective with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, to reinvestigate Vaughan's case completely. King said he took inventory of all the mistakes made by police and that it didn't take long before he discovered the social worker's report."
In his first trial, Vaughan requested a bench verdict. He was sentenced to life by a Cleveland Judge (I hate Cleveland) who found the evidence to represent proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, he believed the nine-year old girl.
(Children lie easily, often with little appreciation for potential consequences.)It's not what a man knows that makes him a fool, it's what he does know that ain't so. .... Josh Billings
07-06-2009, 08:49 PM #2
You didn't include the part in the social worker's report that stated it seemed the girl had been digitally raped. So the mother had been drinking. So the girl was only nine. I have a hard time understanding why a nine year old child who was asleep would make up a story like that. Either way, if you are right or the child is right, someone is a victim of misjustice.
(below copied and bolded by me from the link)
King said the most obvious red flag in the case was the absence of a social worker's testimony. One always is involved in child rape cases, King said. King discovered that the case had been referred to Children Services in Summit County, where the victim lived, and was assigned to social worker Terrie Stout for review.
Both prosecutors and Vaughan's original attorney, Dubyak, had subpoenaed Stout's report before the first trial. But Stout had changed jobs by that time and never responded. Neither side followed up.
In January, the case was reassigned to Judge David Matia, who held a hearing on Vaughan's motion for a new trial. Stout testified that her report was poorly worded in some places. Although it would appear from the report that the accuser was digitally raped, the girl did not state that she was penetrated, Stout said.
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