The Tonya Craft case was full of illegal and immoral actions by prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor, along with the predations of "judge" brian outhouse, and it is hard to pinpoint any one low point, given the whole thing was in the gutter from the start. However, besides illegally (and knowingly) bringing false charges against Craft, Arnt also had private investigator Eric Echols indicted on false charges of "intimidating a witness."
While the charges against Echols ultimately were dismissed, it was yet another attempt by a lawless prosecutor to demonstrate to others that he indicted Echols -- because he could do it. Unfortunately, lawbreaking is not limited to Arnt; in fact, prosecutors all over the country are finding that they can indict any private investigator who manages to shoot holes in their flimsy cases.
Joe Collins, a successful private investigator in Minnesota goes on trial in Isanti County next week in what clearly is a contrived charge of felony bribery. The scenario is all-too-familiar.
In this case, a woman claimed that a man kidnapped her and raped her. (They left a party together and she spent the night and most of the next day with him. After that, she realized that her boyfriend might not like her sleeping around, so she then claimed rape.) The details of the story (like so many others) don't match the prosecution's line, especially given that the woman was not exactly anxious to flee from the home of her "rapist."
Collins was hired by the defendant's law firm and it did not take him long to start blowing holes in the woman's story, and he also found that the Isanti County Sheriff's Office had conducted a slapstick investigation, led by Det. Lisa Lovering, who moonlights as a real estate agent.
Furthermore, he found out that "the victim" had stolen something from an antique store in another county. He spoke to her about it, and she admitted stealing the item. She asked him if he could make the charges (no one had charged her with anything at that point) go away, and he agreed that he would, provided that she would tell the truth about the alleged rape.
You see, whether in Minnesota or Georgia or Washington, D.C., getting someone to tell the truth is a crime, while prosecutors are permitted -- indeed, encouraged -- to suborn perjury. The one thing that seems not to be tolerated by judges and prosecutors these days is the truth.
So, Isanti County County Attorney Jeffrey Edblad filed felony charges against Collins and that is where we stand. (Edblad, however, has recused himself from the case, citing a "conflict of interest.")
I'll be reporting on the trial next week.