Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rufus Is Broke, Under Indictment, And Needs A New Lawyer

A Disgrace To Law Enforcement: Our Corrupt D.A.
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Rufus Seth Williams, our corrupt and scandal-plagued district attorney, has a few new problems to contend with.

When we last saw our intrepid D.A. last week, he was pleading not guilty to a 23-count, 50-page federal indictment charging him with bribery, extortion, wire fraud, and honest services fraud. In the indictment, the feds also accused Williams of stealing $20,000 from his own 84-year-old mother.

But, as court papers filed last week reveal, Williams has other problems. The free-spending D.A., who has stubbornly refused to resign from his $175,000 a-year position, is broke and can't afford to hire a lawyer to defend himself. So the court may have to appoint one for him. Because the D.A.'s original criminal lawyer has already flown the coop. And his current lawyer is asking a judge to let him out of the case.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Frontier Justice: Dauphin County Jury Convicts Graham Spanier

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The jury in the Penn Sate case today convicted former PSU President Graham Spanier on one count of endangering the welfare of a child, but acquitted him on a second endangerment count, as well as a third count of conspiracy.

On the one count they convicted on, the jury, however, found no "continuing course" of criminal conduct. So under the law the child endangerment charge that Spanier was convicted of fell from a felony to a misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child was the exact same charge that Spanier's former co-defendants, former PSU Athletic Director Tim Curley and former PSU Vice-President Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to earlier this month. For a misdemeanor offense, first-time offenders such as Penn State's trio of former administrators are typically looking at a prison term of zero to nine months. The defendants could wind up with just probation.

Judge In Msgr. Lynn Case Finds Prosecutorial Misconduct

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The judge in the Msgr. William J. Lynn sex abuse case announced today that she had found evidence of prosecutorial misconduct serious enough to warrant a new trial for the defendant.

Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright stated that new evidence divulged in a Jan. 13th hearing by retired Detective Joseph Walsh "should have been provided to the defense" back in 2012 when Lynn was originally tried and convicted on one count of child endangerment.

The judge said the misconduct in the district attorney's office amounted to violations of Brady v. Maryland, the landmark 1963 case where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors must turn over all evidence that might exonerate a defendant.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Defense In Graham Spanier Trial Rests Without Calling One Witness

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At 9:35 this morning, Samuel W. Silver, the lawyer for former Penn State President Graham Spanier, stood up in a Harrisburg courtroom and without calling a witness, told the judge that the defense was resting its case.

Five minutes later, Silver began his closing argument to the jury by declaring, "There was no evidence of a crime by Graham Spanier."

"This case involves judgment calls," Silver told the jury. "They made judgment calls," Silver said about Spanier and his two alleged co-conspirators -- Tim Curley and Gary Schultz -- before they pleaded guilty and became government witnesses.

"They made judgment calls," Silver repeated about Spanier, Curley and Schultz. "They did not engage in crimes; they did not engage in a conspiracy."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time To Flip The Narrative On Rufus

Rufus and Imelda
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

According to the feds and The Philadelphia Inquirer, District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams not only accepted bribes and extorted free gifts. He was so depraved that he stole more than $20,000 from his sick and elderly adopted mother.

This is the same corrupt law enforcement official who accepted $175,000 in unreported gifts and services. The same corrupt law enforcement official who sold his office by doing favors for business owners who were criminals. And by doing favors for friends of business owners who were also criminals.

And yet, neither the federal government nor the Inquirer has made the logical deduction that a man who would sell his office, take whatever freebies he could extort, and steal from his own mother just might be ethically compromised when it came to the administration of justice.

But as far as the feds and the Inky are concerned, when Rufus Seth Williams launched his witch hunt against the Catholic Church, this thoroughly corrupt politician somehow had angels perched on his shoulders.

Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

Curley And Schultz Score Points For Defense Before Prosecutors Rest Lame Case Against Former Penn State President Spanier

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

With their recent plea bargains in hand, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz showed up at the Penn State sex abuse trial today to testify against their old boss, former PSU President Graham Spanier. And by day's end, they seemed to have scored more points for the defense then they did for the prosecution.

Curley, the former Penn State athletic director who is battling lung cancer, seemed extremely uncomfortable with his role as a cooperating witness for the prosecution in front of a courtroom packed with many Penn State loyalists, including football icon Franco Harris. On the witness stand, Curley professed an amazing lack of memory about most of the key events in the official Penn State sex abuse story line.

"I can't recall the specifics," Curley said about a meeting he had with former football Coach Joe Paterno to discuss what Mike McQueary heard and saw in his infamous 2001 visit to the Penn State locker room. "I have no recollection of that particular encounter," Curley said about a Sunday morning powwow he and Schultz had at Paterno's house to discuss what McQueary had witnessed in the showers. "I don't recall what his [Paterno's] response was."

About a meeting he and Schultz had with Spanier, Curley said, "We gave Graham a head's up." But he added, "I don't recall what the conversation was."

Feds: D.A. Rufus Seth Williams Did Favors For Criminals, Stole Money From His Adopted Mother; Took Bribes And Committed Extortion

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

According to the feds, when District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams received the gift of a custom-made, chocolate-colored sofa worth $3,212, he texted the business owner who had gifted him and asked, "How would you like me to repay you?"

"Stop it," the man identified in the 23-count, 50-page indictment of Seth Williams as "Business Owner #1" texted back. "I don't expect anything when I gift my friends : ) Enjoy."

So Seth Williams kept on taking free gifts that he didn't report. A Louis Vuitton tie worth $205. An iPad worth $300. A $7,000 check, and $2,000 in cash. A Burberry watch for Williams, a Burberry purse for his girlfriend. A preowned 1997 Jaguar XK8 convertible worth $4,160. Free airline tickets and a vacation in Las Vegas worth $2,000.

A Punta Canta resort vacation worth $4,805 that included "royal service" bracelets, access to a private beach, and personal butler services at their luxury suite. And a second free vacation in Punta Cana that included a stay in a "Royal Service Presidential Suite."

While he was the city's top prosecutor, Rufus Seth Williams kept on taking bribes and extorting more free gifts.

"I am merely a thankful beggar and I don't want to overstep my bounds in asking," Williams texted Business Owner #1 about a second free trip to Punta Cana, "but we will gladly go." 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How Bad Case Law Made In Philly Came Back to Haunt Graham Spanier

By Ralph Cipriano
For BigTrial.net

In a Harrisburg courtroom today, Graham Spanier, the former president of Penn State University, went on trial on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Sadly, as anyone back in Philadelphia familiar with the case of Msgr. William Lynn knows, the state's original child endangerment law doesn't apply to Spanier for the same reason it didn't apply to Lynn. The law also doesn't apply to former PSU Athletic Director Tim Curley or former PSU Vice President Gary Schultz, both of whom pleaded guilty to violating it last week.

The irony is that on the same day Spanier went on trial for allegedly violating a state law that doesn't apply to him, the man behind the making of that bad case law -- Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams -- was indicted by the feds on 23 counts of bribery, extortion, honest services fraud, and wire fraud.

It's a shame the feds also didn't indict Williams for corrupting the law. Because that's what he did.

 

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