I think that we will all be glad when the sordid 2016 General Election is finally over next week. Not only on a national level where we are faced with arguably the two worst presidential nominees of major political parties in the history of the union but also locally in Harris County. In a county that has a larger voting population than 22 states, we are being forced to watch the last gasp, desperate efforts of District Attorney Devon Anderson to remain in power.
Forget the distractions and clutter the both Devon Anderson and her opponent, Kim Ogg have put forth. This election boils down to one issue, criminal justice reform. If you support a win at all cost, jail ’em all and hang ’em high philosophy, Anderson’s your woman. If you support justice, fairness for all ethnicities, victim advocacy, non-jail solutions to petty, non-violent crime and long sentences for violent criminals, Ogg’s your woman.
Jailing a rape victim is unacceptable
No case illustrates the differences between the two candidates better than the case of Keith Hendricks, a violent rapist that apparently preyed upon women with mental illness. A homeless man, Hendricks was able to elude prosecution for his rapes for years because of the untested rape kits in Harris County. For whatever reason, Devon Anderson and her crew at the HCCJC couldn’t make a case against this animal without the testimony of one of his many victims, Jenny. Jenny happens to suffer from severe bipolar disorder, which is probably why Hendricks chose to violently sexually assault her. Jenny testified in court against the monster and the monster was sentenced to life in prison. I think we can all celebrate that sentence, which is currently under appeal.
What we cannot, absolutely should not celebrate is the method by which Devon Anderson and her crew forced the victim of the monster to testify against him. Throwing her in the Harris County jail for 27 days to be further abused, beaten and humiliated. To add further injury, Jenny was actually charged with touching a jail detention officer but thankfully the judge in the case dismissed the charge. But the crew at the HCCJC didn’t stop at jailing and humiliating her. No, as the crew at the HCCJC desperately tries to hold on to power and keep the crew together, they are once again abusing Jenny and this time throwing her mother in for good measure.
The prosecutor’s press conference
On Thursday, October 27th, former good guy and now gadfly attorney Rusty Hardin appeared at a news conference with the prosecutor who had Jenny thrown in jail. The prosecutor, Nicolas Socias, maintained that he did everything he could for Jenny and claimed that Jenny’s mother was the one really, truly at fault. Devon Anderson, in an uncoordinated move (I know that because she said so) had released a video the evening before making the exact same claim.
The rape victim was not homeless
The record debunks both of those claims, as well as the lie that Devon Anderson told during her angry video rebuttal of a Channel Two News story about Jenny. Anderson lied when she said that Jenny was homeless and they needed to put her in jail to make certain that she testified. The fact is that prosecutor Socias knew that Jenny wasn’t homeless, knew where she lived and knew who she was living with. In an email dated December 4, 2015, Socias says:
Hopefully Jennifer has told you that she has agreed to come to Houston for the trial next week. I begged the judge to give me one more continuance to get Jennifer to come down. 2 of our investigators are going to pick her up from Longview.
So the plain fact is that Jenny was not homeless and the prosecutor knew it. And in an email dated December 24, 2015, Socias identifies the person she was living with in Longview, Landon. In that email, Socias says:
I like Landon but if she goes back with him in Longview and doesn’t return, then things get very very bad for her legally.
So Anderson and Socias lied about Jenny having to be jailed because she was homeless. And about her not having a place to stay if they released her from jail. Why? You’d have to ask Anderson, which, as best as I can tell, no reporter has. I’d love to but for some reason, I doubt she’d return my call.
Lied about providing a victim advocate
But that’s not all that Socias and Anderson lied about. Not by a long shot. Let’s review that December 4, 2015 email further:
She will have a female victim advocate that will be with her the entire time she is in the courthouse.
That is certainly proper and desirable. And remember, Anderson said that Socias did everything possible to help Jenny. Did it happen? No. Let’s take a look at an email dated December 29, 2015:
I don’t see where she was assigned a victim witness caseworker. The 2 people I usually deal with it are out on vacation. If you want to call them, their number is 713-274-0250. The other option is waiting until the 4th when I know everyone is back and I will walk over there and meet with them, explain things, and have them call you. If you call just have Jenny’s info and the case #’s ready.
No caseworker was ever assigned to help Jenny, as promised by Socias. What do you think the chances are that had one been assigned, Jenny might not have broken down on the witness stand in tears and ran out of the courthouse in desperation?
Deception about a mental health facility
In an email dated December 10, 2015, Socias deceives Jenny’s mother into thinking that Jenny would be transferred to a psychiatric center after her release from St. Joseph Hospital:
She will be transferred. She will only stay at St. Joseph’s for 3-5 days. When she gets transferred I will get the new visiting and calling schedule.
In fact, Jenny stayed at St. Joseph’s for 10 days. And in his press conference, Socias stated:
“We’re talking about a suicidal risk, we’re talking about mental health problems, we’re talking about her being a victim, that’s why she’s here,” Socias said. “I say well that’s not acceptable because I’m telling you she needs further treatment.”
So Socias tells Jenny’s mother that she’ll only be in the hospital for 3-5 days, then implies that she will be transferred to a mental health center. In his news conference, he plays up Anderson’s line that “he did all he could”. The fact of the matter is that when Socias wrote that email to Jenny’s mother, he already had the witness attachment order to throw Jenny into the Harris County Jail. Why lie?
A caring prosecutor? Not so fast.
The image of a caring prosecutor continues to crumble when you review an email dated December 20, 2015:
Jenny called me. She is in Harris County Jail. Can you please check on her? I thought she would be transferred to Harris County Psychiatric Center not Jail. This is really unacceptable for a victim of rape to put her in jail. Please call me. I am out of town and I am two hours behind you. Any help in sorting this out would be appreciated.
Unfortunately I (Socias) had to have surgery Wednesday and am still on bed rest. I wasn’t there for the transfer. Let me get with Brandon Plagens and see exactly where she is.
Socias didn’t even know where Jenny was. Would she have been transferred if he had kept his promise and assigned a victim advocate to her? Probably, since he had already been deceptive to Jenny’s mother and had the witness attachment order but we’ll never know.
In jail for Christmas
On December 23, 2015, Jenny’s mother emails Socias:
I know it is late and almost Christmas Eve, but Jenny is not doing well in the mental section of the jail. I have no idea as to why she is in the jail and was not transferred to Harris County Psychiatric Center. She is being held as a prisoner and she is a victim.
Socias responds on December 24, 2015:
I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly happened but unfortunately everyone has been out. Her being in jail over the holidays was never my intention. Our mental health section told me she would be transported to a different facility then she is in. My fear is that the order didn’t get relayed with me being out and the holidays.
Prosecutor lies about bond forfeiture
Clearly his intention was for her to be in jail over the holidays. He is the one that obtained the witness attachment order and put her there in the first place. And he then blatantly lies to Jenny’s mother again:
I would like for her to be able to stay with you but that would have to be your call on the issue. For the bond you only have to put 10% down but would be responsible for the entire amount if the she fails to appear or the judge believe she got off her medication. I can ask for it to be lowered but won’t be able to until Monday.
That is another lie. There is no law in Texas that says that you forfeit your bond if you stop taking your medication. Socias tries to intimidate Jenny’s mother, in treatment for Stage 4 cancer, with the threat of financial ruin. Here we have a mother desperate to get her child out of jail and the prosecutor is lying to her so that he can keep her in jail. Sickening.
Black eye – tries to reach Devon Anderson
On December 26, 2015, Jenny’s mom continues her desperate pleas to Socias, this time attempting to cc Devon Anderson because her daughter has been beaten:
Hi Nick & Brandon,
I do hope a phone call to the jail by one of you will help Jenny. Jenny is not in the MHMRA section of the jail. She is in the general population. Landon went to visit her just now. I am sick or I would be there. She has a black eye. She takes her meds at 9:00am and 9:00pm. She was given her meds at 3:00pm. Jennifer told Landon she is not stable, which is because she does not have the right medication. She should have never left the St. Joseph Hospital. The case worker did not cordinate with Jenny’s doctor, Ms. Murphy in Longview.
We are working on it now. Until Monday though we won’t be able to get in touch with the proper people. We will go visit her Monday also.
Devon’s email is different than the one you cc’d. I f you’d like me to forward your email to her please let me know.
A caring prosecutor? He’s just been informed (on a Saturday) that Jenny has been beaten in jail and says he’ll visit her on Monday. And oh, btw, you have the wrong email for Devon. I’ll pass it along if you want me too.
It’s the rape victim’s fault
On Monday, December 28, 2015 at 9:54 AM, Jenny’s mother continues her quest to get help for her daughter:
Please call me. Jenny is a victim and needs to be moved today to HCPC. Put her on the calendar. Send me Devon’s correct email. I tried calling today and they want to connect me to the Sheriffs office. She is your witness. She is not a criminal. She has a black eye and is not stable on her meds. The Sheriffs office stated it is not their job to make sure she takes her meds. This all violates Jenny’s victim rights. If someone hurts Jenny in jail. Your office will have bigger issues.
Socias responds two hours later, blaming Jenny for the problem:
Ok so I talked to the sergeant in charge of the mental health unit housing and figured out a little more about what happened. They evaluated her for the mental health unit and Jenny said she was fine, would take her meds, and didn’t need help. So they cleared her and that meant she went into general population. I just spoke with the sergeant at the mental health unit and they will transfer her there. Now that’s just the jail mental health unit, which is very good but not where we want her for long. I am going to explain to Jenny today that when she is evaluated if she says she needs help that will make things very easy to get her to HCPC. If she refuses, then I need to do another mental health warrant to transfer her.
Incredible. It’s all your fault. You never should have been violently raped in the first place.
There’s a word for people like Socias and Anderson. And it isn’t saint.
Soros hater swoops in to save the day
And in a final, last minute, desperate gasp to put this behind her, Anderson lets Jenny’s biological father plead her case. This report by ABC 13’s Chauncy Glover is one of the worst reported news stories I’ve seen in a long time. Glover takes Anderson’s bait hook, line and sinker.
“Jenny, if you just so happen to ever see this, I love you, kid, and try not to get too mad at your father, but I’m so proud of you doing a great thing and helping to put a serious rapist away for two lifetimes. Remember that did a lot for you and help protect other women in the future.”
The man did nothing to help Jenny during her time in jail but Anderson wants you to think of him as a saint. Not so fast. Why do you think this guy came crawling out of his sewer at the last minute to support Anderson?
Why, George Soros of course. Don’t believe me? Devon Anderson put it on her Facebook page:
Good luck with your campaign, looks like the Soros liberal machine is hard at work telling lies.
Despicable. This guy leaves his sexually assaulted daughter rotting in jail over the Christmas holidays but decides to crawl out of the sewer when he learns that the “Soros liberal machine” is in Harris County. There’s a word for this guy. And it ain’t saint. And why did ABC 13’s Chauncy Glover report it the way he did, leaving out the Soros statement?
Republicans should support justice
I started this very long post by stating that criminal justice reform is the issue. Kim Ogg has been a victim advocate for years. Kim Ogg would have known better than to put a rape victim in jail just to put another notch in her belt. She would not have broken her promise to Jenny to have a victim advocate by her side at all times. She would have put the monster behind bars for life without scarring the victim further.
Devon Anderson could have come clean in July when she first learned of it. Instead, her natural inclination was to protect her crew at all costs so that they could continue to do justice their way, not the fair way.
Let’s tell Devon Anderson and crew at the HCCJC that their behavior is not acceptable. Let’s make a change and put justice first. Justice for all.
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