Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Ordeal of Michael Rasmussen, Part II: The Detective's Questionable Integrity

In my first post on the Michael Rasmussen case, I noted that Kerwyn had uncovered a lot of material that proves devastating to the truthfulness of the three accusers. Since then, even more has happened to cut more holes in the prosecution's attempt to frame this man for "crimes" that never occurred.

For people who would like to get a good across-the-board case narrative, I would urge that they read the comments on the Liestoppers board, which served as a very useful sounding board in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case (a case which brought a number of us today and got me started on blogging). Because of the information that is listed here, I see no use in reinventing the wheel.

Because Mr. Rasmussen is scheduled to go on trial next week for allegedly molesting his daughter, Apryl, I would like to concentrate on the charges she has made. As in all of the cases about which I (with the very, very able help of Kerwyn) have been writing, the more I find out, the more I realize that Mr. Rasmussen is an innocent man, and is the victim of lies not only by his 25-year-old daughter, but also the police.

As the Liestoppers narrative points out, the crux of the charges center on two events that occurred in early 2010. First, his daughter engaged him in a long phone call that not only was recorded by police, but actually set up by Det. Kim Selkirk of the Charles County Sheriff's Department, with Selkirk writing the questions for Apryl.

Second, after police arrested Mr. Rasmussen supposedly for "admitting" to crimes during the phone call, he went spoke to the police without counsel and "confessed" to a number of things that Selkirk claims were part of the phone call. Thus, Charles County had the basis for indicting and now trying him.

There is a huge problem, however, and I mean huge. Kerwyn has listened to the entire phone call and has transcribed much of it, and she tells me unequivocally that Selkirk's claims as to what was said during the call are false. I repeat, she tells me that Selkirk has utterly misrepresented the contents of that call.

For example, Selkirk writes in her notes (and claims that Mr. Rasmussen admitted to as much during the "confession") that Mr. Rasmussen told Apryl to lie to the police. He did not say anything of the sort, and Selkirk knows it (unless she has not listened to the tape, and if that is true, then she is lying when she claims to know the contents of the call).

Instead, when Apryl pointedly asks him, "Do you want me to lie to the police?" (and she asks him more than once), he replies, "Do what you feel." Never once does he instruct her to lie. That is not there, yet Selkirk has submitted notes that make that false claim. In other words, Selkirk is willing to commit a felony in order to try to win a conviction, and the Charles County State's Attorney's office is willing to go along with the scam.

That's right: scam. When a police officer lies and a prosecutor attempts to use that lie -- when knowing that the truth is otherwise -- then we have officers of the court breaking the law and destroying all of the ethical standards upon which courts supposedly are built.

But it gets worse. During the call, Mr. Rasmussen clearly states his disdain for Selkirk and says he will not talk to her at all. Suddenly, we are supposed to believe that this guy spills his guts in a long interview with the same detective.

Now, put yourselves in the shoes of a cop -- and I have spoken to other police officers and prosecutors about this very thing. Assume that you have wanted to get a confession from someone who will not speak to you, AND SUDDENLY HE STARTS TALKING.

What would you do? Obviously, the police officer would at least record the conversation on tape, or maybe videotape it. Selkirk did nothing of the sort. All that exist from the meeting are a hurriedly-written set of notes (which I have in my possession). No recording, nothing.

[Update: As Kerwyn notes in her comments, two detectives were involved in the questioning, Selkirk and Det. Austin. Austin claims that writing notes "distracted" Mr. Rasmussen, so the story is that he asked the questions and got Mr. Rasmussen to "tell all," and then Selkirk sat in another room, listened, and took notes.

Sorry, people. That doesn't fly. It does not explain why police failed to memorialize this alleged conversation with a recording. THAT is what they are supposed to do, and they failed to do it. Maybe, just maybe, they failed to do it because it didn't happen. Maybe, just maybe, there WAS no "confession," and we have two detectives writing fiction.

Don't kid yourselves about how police will operate in such situations. Because they have immunity and because they are protected by their unions and by their politicians, police know they can lie with impunity and many of the do just that.

Because I was not in the room, I cannot say for certain that Selkirk and Austin are not telling the truth. However, their very failure to follow procedure, and the fact that Selkirk's notes absolutely misrepresented conversations that occurred in the phone call between Mr. Rasmussen and Apryl lead me to be suspicious of what they are saying. End Update]

(Selkirk has claimed that even writing while Mr. Rasmussen supposedly was "confessing" distracted him, so she just listened. I'm sorry people, but her claim does not pass the smell test.)

Why does Selkirk lie? Yes, lie? Because she knows she can get away with it, and nothing will happen to her. In her former job as a bank teller, she could have gone to jail for lying to investigators about anything regarding her work and the transactions she was making.

Her current job, however, does not require honesty. The problem is that her notes are written down for everyone to see -- and soon enough, jurors will hear the entire telephone call between Apryl and Mr. Rasmussen and they, too, will know beyond a doubt that Selkirk and telling the truth apparently are mutually-exclusive things.

There will be more posts -- many more -- but for the time being, I want readers to understand that the person most responsible for pursuing the case has lied to a grand jury and lied to a judge in order to bring charges. We will look further at the contents of the telephone call and show how other things said don't match what Selkirk is claiming. One hopes that someone in a position of authority in the State of Maryland will deal properly with Selkirk, but I have my doubts, serious doubts.


RTW3153 said...

I haven't had a chance to read or hear the tape or any other documents in this case against Mike (Razz). I sure hope all the news papers and news channels are there to hear his side of the case. The man never had a chance to tell his side of the story or to tell the truth of this matter.

To all the news paper's and news channels that buried Mike when he was charged. Sure hope your reading this blogg. They ran him innto the ground, DC firefighter gone bad. Mike was another poster child to make the evening news more colorful. This is another very sad issue with these types of cases. The entire DC metro area was informed day and night for about three days of this matter. This is not fair to him or his family.

Bill and crew you guys ROCK! Thanks for standing up for what is the RIGHT !

Doc Ellis said...

Greetings Dr Anderson,

Shared as

' Bill Anderson on the Rasmussen Scam Detective's Questionable Integrity'.

Thank you for writing this

Doc Ellis 124

Kerwyn said...


A correction, Austin interviewed him and stated he didn't take notes because it seemed to "upset" Mr. Rassmussen. Selkirk claimed she sat in another room and listened and took notes.

Sorry if I was not clear on that.

Kerwyn said...


The police and prosecutors bypassed the grand jury in this case and simply brought charges against him.

I know, I know, I was surprised as well. Wait till everyone else hears the rest of this. There are so many holes that you could flat drive a truck through it. The fact is this folks, the tape says it all. 140 minutes of some of the most mentally and emotionally abusive crap that I have ever heard. Through the entire tape, THE ENTIRE TAPE, poor little Apryl never changes her tone, never gets mad, sad, upset, nervous nothing. It was like she was reading from a script. Imagine if you would, a daughter, molested confronting her father the molester. And there is NO emotion? None whatsoever for 140 minutes of verbal beating? Oh there is plenty on Mr. Rassmussen's side, PLENTY. But her? An Ice Princess.

She had reason to do this, a reason she clearly stated to several people. That reason will come out in court, I promise you.

William L. Anderson said...

Because the telephone call will be a major part of the "evidence" that the State of Maryland plans to present, I will be doing a future post on it.

Ironically, this call is not a smoking gun, at least for the state. And, as I note in the post's update, Selkirk has chosen to misrepresent what was in the call, and is prepared to testify UNDER OATH as to what she has written about it.

Kerwyn is correct. This case is full of very large holes, and the way that the State of Maryland has chosen to proceed is the old "bleed 'em and plead 'em" strategy of breaking the defendant financially and emotionally.

In other words, the State of Maryland is using a form of torture. Don't think that future posts will ignore these tactics, either.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...


In these kinds of cases, do judges usually allow the playing of the complete phone conversations? In the Blagojevich, I seem to remember the judge not allowing all of the recordings because of length (or dirty politics).

Kerwyn said...


At this time the following has happened:

Prosecution attempted to block admission of an interview Apryl did with a forensic Psychologist in which she "vehemently" (Dr's words) denies that any molestation of her or anyone else took place. They failed in that. Then they tried to block the Dr.s ability to render an opinion based on his interview with her. They failed on that.

Apparently the prosecution plans on playing the entire 140 minute tape. This would probably not go over well in the long run. As you listen to the monotone voice of the daughter repeatedly beating her father verbally, you feel a great deal of sympathy for him. Telling him to "just tell her anything he MIGHT remember" so that "she can heal". Listening to this man sob, chest heaving sobs while he desperately tries to remember ANYTHING that might satisfy her. His "admissions are full of "I don't know, I don't remember anything like that, no no no and I guess I don't knows all interspersed with these terrible sobs. It was a horrific call to listen to. I rarely get mad, but that tape flat pissed me off. I did not hear a man getting caught doing the dirty, I heard a man in disbelief that his daughter was accusing him of anything but deeply caring for her.

The judge did rule that Det Austin can testify to what he remembers from the "confession". I find that is going to be problematic for the prosecution since no one is going to believe he can remember verbatim a 2 hour conversation he had over a year ago now.

So far the judge seems be be very fair and even handed.

OH note, you cannot depose someone in Maryland unless you can prove they are material to the case and WILL NOT be available for court.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how much you know about what the procecution is going to do in this case, before the case has even went to trial. I wouldn't think you could legally discuss all of this.
All of your banter is about only one of the cases though. It seems to me, that there are three cases against him, three different accussers. Three different related accusers from what I gather. Even if you feel this one case has holes, doesn't make me feel any more ready to believe in his innocence. I feel sorry for his alleged victims and the scrutiny that you put them under for your own agenda. Face it, not everyone is innocent.