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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Justice, Sexual Impropriety, and Legal Predators

It is imperative that the law prevents people in positions of authority from preying upon others -- all others, no matter their subordinate position or their alleged injustices. Armed with threats and blackmail, some of those in the criminal justice system use their power and title to commit horrendous crimes.

Due to the trust inherent in these positions, these public employees are among the worst criminals imaginable. Instead of protecting while they serve, they choose to destroy lives and to become a cancer that destroys the integrity of due process.

A recent case in Kentucky is a study in such criminal behavior. Former Carter County bailiff Earl Buckler, age 63, of Grayson, Kentucky, was indicted on two counts of sodomy in August of 2014. He plead guilty to lesser charges.

According to court records, in exchange for Buckler pleading guilty to one charge, the second sodomy charge was dropped.

Buckler was sentenced to three years, which was probated, and will serve no time, contingent upon no additional charges filed against him. During the three-year probation period, Buckler will be supervised and required to register as a sex offender. He will then have five years of supervised release.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in 2014, Michelle Ann Porter, the woman who was sexually assaulted while in custody, named Buckler, along with the sheriff’s department and Carter County in a civil lawsuit.

The suit claimed that Buckler used his authority as court security supervisor to force Porter to perform sexual acts on him in exchange for cigarettes and soft drinks. The incident allegedly occurred while Buckler was transporting Porter to and from court between the Carter County Justice Center and the Carter County Detention Center.

According to documents, Porter is seeking damages from the defendants for gross and unconscionable violations of the rights, privileges and immunities guaranteed by the Eighth, 10th, and 14th Amendments. Preliminary stages of the case are currently ongoing.

(Portia Williams. "Former deputy sentenced for sodomy.
Portsmouth Daily Times. March 19, 2015)

In the motion filed in U.S. District Court, Michael Ann Porter names former Carter County Bailiff Earl E. Buckler, Sheriff Casey Brammell, the sheriff’s office, Carter County, and Judge-Executive Charles Wallace in the suit. Buckler, Brammell and Wallace are named in their official capacities and individually.

According to the documentation, the assault occurred in an isolated cornfield in Pactolus.
In the 19-page motion, Porter alleges that Brammell was aware Buckler was transporting female prisoners without following proper protocol related to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department’s written policy. The suit claims that Brammell, the sheriff’s office and Carter County, as well as Wallace, were negligent in the supervision, training and conduct of Buckler, which led to the sexual assault.

Porter, through her attorney Sebastian Joy, claims the defendants’ conduct also constitutes malice and justifies an award for exemplary or punitive damages. Porter claims she has suffered permanent bodily injury, emotional distress, humiliation, pain, mental anguish, and inconvenience.   

The complaint asks for compensatory as well as punitive damages, with the amount to be determined at trial.

Leeann Akers of the Ashland Independent reported ...

"Attorney Paul Craft, who represents Buckler in the criminal case, entered a motion to dismiss the charge against Buckler during a pre-trial conference. He argued that the stipulations pertaining to the third degree sodomy charge, specifically KRS 510.090 subsection E, do not apply to Buckler.

"The statute specifies that person is guilty of third degree sodomy if they act in their capacity as 'a jailer, or an employee, contractor, vendor, or volunteer of the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, or a detention facility as defined in KRS 520.010, or of an entity under contract with either department or a detention facility for the custody, supervision, evaluation, or treatment of offenders' to coerce deviate sexual behavior.

"Craft asserted that charging Buckler with third degree sodomy is not appropriate because he worked for the Sheriff’s department and was not a detention center employee. "As a matter of law, this charge must be dismissed,” said Craft."

(Leeann Akers. "Carter facing civil rights lawsuit." The Independent. Ashland, Kentucky.
CNHI News Service. September 16, 2014)

I have no idea what Attorney Craft implies about the alleged sodomy because I do not understand certain stipulations in a civil lawsuit. It sounds very wrong to me. Dismissed on a technicality?

I do know that the Bailiff Buckler admitted to committing an inexcusable offense. I do know that he will serve no time for his actions. And, I do know prior knowledge of the crime should make those in charge accessories to the sexual assault.

This particular case bothers me because of talk of prisoner/client manipulation and sexual improprieties in Scioto County. Many people speak of known offenses that have occurred here. It would seem that the justice system would want to police their own and come forward with any evidence that might convict those in positions of authority who abuse innocent people. I pray they would ... I trust they would.

Drugs, money, shelter, and other favors exchanged for sex is simply disgusting abuse. Young people, especially those dependent or addicted to substances, are easy targets for criminals -- whether these offenders are cohorts or those in charge of dealing with their problems.

At the present, there exists a public opinion that besmirches the system. I say this because I hear claims that make me shudder: so much "smoke" seems to point to an awful "fire" that has burned for many, many years. The accusations continue.

The political nature of our county breeds fear and coerces silence when transparency could reveal any actual misdeeds. Why do I say this? I have been told of real fears of reprisal by people who would rather remain quiet than report abuses and risk danger. I understand the reticence of victims living in a rural area that is resistance to any threat of upsetting a long-standing political power base.

Saying that, I still believe that indifference guarantees continued criminal behavior in a system too weak or too frightened to oust "bad apples." The difference between rumors and truths can only be determined in the light of factual evidence -- people coming forward with undeniable, honest testimony. Even one bad man like Earl Buckler rips the seams of guaranteed protection while threatening to rend a trusted system into pieces.

A curtain conceals improper justice when those who are hired to serve are permitted to abuse those they consider to be the least of us. The gift of dignity is God-given, and anyone who takes that away from another human being under the guise of lawful control commits sins of the grossest nature. Those who know of such crimes must speak out to prevent the spread of such animalistic behavior.

Millions of Voices
by Shenita Etwaroo 

There are millions of voices that are silenced
From trafficking, slavery, and exploitation.
Not just overseas, in third world countries,
But right here in our very own nation.

There are millions of tears that spill to the earth
Of those forced to perform against their will.
Sexually misused, abused, and degraded.
Broken, defeated, and left mentally ill.

There are millions of smiles that will never be seen
Dreams crushed right from the start.
Cries that are muffled behind closed doors.
As families are brutally torn apart.

There are millions of children whose childhoods have been ruined.
They’ll never know the unbridled joy of peace.
They’ll only know agony and suffering
Constantly praying for their pain to cease.

Together our voices can make a difference
It takes just one spark to start a fire.
To shed light on the horrendous truths
One story is enough to inspire.

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