NOTE: I am working on a post that I will publish Sunday in which I outline what very well will be the prosecution's strategy for its "rebuttal" to the defense. Needless to say, if I am right, you will be seeing outright subornation of perjury from the prosecutors.
One of Len "The Man, The Misogynist" Gregor's favorite lines has been, "I'm not paid by the child molester." While this is a clever line (and in a real court of law would be sanctioned as prejudicial by a real judge), nonetheless it is true in a very ironic way. Both Gregor and Chris "Facebook" Arnt ARE paid by the child molester, or at least the accused child molester, and that is one reason we have seen a whole spate of these kinds of charges in the LMJD.
One of the things we teach in economics is that "incentives matter," and whether in business, politics, or criminal justice, "follow the money" is not bad advice. While I have not done any research (or much research) into funding in the LMJD, I would say that the fact that the four counties that are served in this district are relatively poor and certainly do not have the resources that wealthier counties in the state might have.
Because of that, the "justice" and "law enforcement" systems in these counties would welcome an inflow of federal money, and there are two sources that would make sense. The first is federal money via the Mondale Act (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974) and the Violence Against Women Act. Both of these laws and subsequent state laws are very important money-raisers, as judicial districts receive federal money for prosecuting people for child abuse and sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape. (That is men raping women, as the VAWA implies that women cannot commit sexual assault, at least against men.)
When LMJD DA Buzz Franklin announced more than 10 years ago that his office would "target child abuse and sexual assault," the media played it up as though he were a hero, and when assistant prosecutors such as Arnt and Gregor have racked up the convictions, they have been treated as heroes by the press. Unfortunately, few in the media have cared about how these cases were pursued or the reliability of the evidence. Furthermore, no one in the media has looked into how these kinds of prosecutions can bring federal money.
The players all have been the same people. Often in a divorce or custody case, someone wanting leverage with the judge has alleged the spouse or partner to have "molested" children. The judge or someone in the system then has Det. Tim Deal or one of his associates interview the child and no matter what answer the child gives, take him or her to one of the Children's Advocacy Centers in North Georgia.
At that point, someone from the CAC generally "verifies" that there has been sexual abuse (no matter what actually might have happened), and then the prosecutors take over from there. For cases that even might be outright frames, generally the accused is pretty helpless in mounting a defense.
We found out in her Friday testimony that Tonya Craft has spent $500,000 on her defense, a sum of money that, frankly, the vast majority of people in the LMJD, not to mention the entire country, could not pay. And even with excellent representation, Tonya Craft's case hangs in the balance because the prosecutors effectively have run the trial and have not had to obey the rules of evidence and rules of decorum.
Why have the prosecutors fought so hard, and why has House permitted about 500 (so far) of what would be called "reversible errors" that would be taken up by appeals judges if there were a conviction? Part of it is the "good old boys" syndrome that is part of semi-rural systems like the LMJD; they don't like "outsiders," either from legal representation or expert witnesses, and they like to appeal to those prejudices of the jurors.
In fact, Gregor has been willing to trash perhaps the most respected "expert witness" in the country, Dr. Nancy Aldridge, and essentially call her a liar who was "paid off" by the defense. This is the same Dr. Aldridge who has been at the forefront of developing techniques and rules of questioning children in sexual assault cases. By accusing her of lying -- and lying for money -- Gregor seems to believe that there will be no consequences for his words, and perhaps in the LMJD that would be correct.
But there is another reason why the prosecutors and the judge have engaged in what effectively has been a "scorched earth" campaign to get a conviction: if Tonya Craft wins an acquittal, she will have exposed what is essentially have been acts of corruption aimed at bringing federal money to the district. That is because, in a very real sense, as I stated at the beginning of this post, Gregor and Arnt ARE paid by the "child molester."
An acquittal would be a disaster not only for what is left of the reputations of House, Arnt, and Gregor, but also it would open the door for a federal investigation of these other cases for which the district has received money. It also would leave the CAC open because of the "questionable" (and that is a charitable term) interviewing and testimony techniques that its "interviewers" use. Already, this case has caused local media to question what has been going on in that district and to wonder about whether or not previous convictions garnered by these prosecutors have been legitimate.
Gregor, Arnt, and House are desperate for a conviction, and are willing to go to any length to obtain one. If that is not possible, then they will settle for a mistrial via a hung jury or a declaration from House. One thing is for sure: the prosecution and House will not go down easily, as there is money at stake.
I also have included a past newspaper article calling our Dishonest Duo "heroes" for their emphasis on "child molestation" prosecutions. In my book, "heroes" do not lie in court, bully people, make racist, sexist, and homophobic statements, but perhaps the standards are different for the LMJD.