Case Results

The below select case results include not-guilty verdicts, dismissed charges and negotiated pleas attained for prior clients. While we cannot predict the future result of your case, and not all of our cases have had desirable outcomes, we can say with confidence that we diligently prepare each and every one of our cases and put forth a personal level of commitment from start to finish.

The clients involved in the following cases have consented to Tom’s sharing factual summaries of their cases.

After Extensive Pre-Trial Investigation and Depositions, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Dismisses Sexual Abuse Charges

State: Missouri
Court: St. Louis County
Case Name: State v. T. R.
Lead Counsel: Thomas A. Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Joseph M. Hogan
Date: August 2018

Result: All Charges Dismissed

T. R. (our client) and B. G.( his girlfriend) had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship. B. G. lived across the street from G. (the minor complainant) and her mother. G. was an animal lover and often came to B.G.’s house to play with the cat.

According to the police report, G. said that she was at her home on Sunday, March 8, 2015, when B. G. asked her to come out and help her to look for her dog. G. then related that our client and B. G. initially took her upstairs and both had sexual interaction with her. When this incident was reported to the initial investigating officer on March 9, 2015, the complainant clearly and unambiguously stated that the date of the alleged offense was Sunday, March 8, 2015.

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Military Specifications Against Army Officer Dismissed Due to Statute of Limitations

Court-Martial
Military Counsel: MAJ Kevin M. Adams
Civilian Counsel: Thomas A. Pavlinic
Date: March 23, 2018

Result: All Specifications Dismissed

In 2017 a high-ranking, retired Army officer was accused with 6 specifications of having sexually abused his daughter between 1983 and 1989. The complainant did not make a report to the military until 32 years later in January 2015, when she was 44 years old.

During the course of the investigation, the discovery which was provided by the government showed multiple, major contradictions in the complainant’s statements.

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Client Facing Sexual Abuse Allegations in Two States Found Not-Guilty by Jury

State: Georgia
Court: Cobb County Superior Court
Case Name: State v. C.W.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Corinne Mull
Judge: C. LaTain
Date: May 15, 2017

Result: Jury Verdict – Not Guilty on All Counts

Our client was charged in Cobb County Georgia in a 3-count indictment with the following offenses: Child Molestation as a result of allegedly touching a child’s vagina and breasts (Counts 1 and 2, respectively) and Cruelty to Children in the First Degree based upon the alleged touching causing extreme mental pain (Count 3).

While visiting her grandmother and our client (Client) in August 2015, the 11-year old complainant reported to her grandmother that Client made her feel uncomfortable when he gave her a back rub. Client had known the complainant since 2009, when he and the grandmother began their relationship. Evidence at trial established that Client had given the complainant backrubs for many years, and the grandmother described her granddaughter as a “backrub freak.”

When the grandmother returned the complainant to her parents in North Carolina, new allegations surfaced. Now the complainant – for the very first time – alleged that Client had touched her vaginal area during a vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a year earlier in the summer of 2014.

The parents took the complainant to a therapist who reported the allegations to law enforcement. As part of the investigation, the complainant and her grandmother gave video interviews that were provided to the defense in discovery. Client was first arrested at his home in North Carolina and extradited to Georgia and then arrested in Georgia and extradited to South Carolina.

Jury selection began on May 9, 2017, and testimony started the following day. The State called 7 witnesses in the following order: mother, father, complainant, the interviewer, therapist, grandmother and investigating detective. Although our client was only on trial in Georgia for conduct that allegedly occurred in that jurisdiction, the State was able to introduce statements regarding the conduct that allegedly occurred in South Carolina as “propensity evidence.” Cross-examination of the state’s witnesses brought out inconsistencies in the complainant’s testimony and also established the implausibility of the South Carolina allegations. At the conclusion of the State’s case, a defense motion for directed verdict as to Count 1 was granted.

The defense presented the testimony of 6 witnesses: South Carolina defense counsel, Client and 4 character witnesses, including Client’s friend of 50 years, his son and 2 former wives. The testimony of South Carolina defense counsel was crucial because it permitted argument during closing that no action had been taken in South Carolina, and Client had the constitutional right to defend himself in that jurisdiction as well.

The case went to the jury on Monday, May 15, 2017, around lunch time. After several hours, the jurors sent a note saying that they were hopelessly deadlocked. Nevertheless, the judge ordered them to return the following morning and continue deliberations. After a total of 8 hours over 2 days, the jury entered Not Guilty verdicts to both remaining counts on May 16, 2017.

Jury Finds West Virginia Magistrate Judge Not Guilty of Sexual Abuse

State: West Virginia
Court: Harrison County Circuit Court
Case Name: State v. M.G.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Belinda Haynie
Judge: Thomas W. Steptoe Jr.
Date: July 5, 2016

Result: Jury Verdict – Not Guilty on All Counts

The History

Our client was a 46-year old Magistrate Judge with 2 older children when he met the mother (to be referred to as “Mother”) of the complainant in 2000, who had a 9-year old son and a then 4-year old daughter, the complainant (to be referred to as “Complainant”). In 2003 our client, along with his daughter, Mother and her 2 children moved in together. When our client (to be referred to as “Client”) and Mother married in 2005, she was employed by the prosecutor’s office.

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Not-Guilty Verdict After Conviction Overturned on Appeal

State: Kansas
Court: Labette County District Court
Case Name: State v. R.C.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Melanie S. Morgan
Judge: Jeffry L. Jack
Date: May 01, 2015

Result: Jury Verdict – Not Guilty on All Counts

When our client was only eighteen years old, he started dating a girl who had two young daughters, then ages one and two. They had an on-again off-again relationship for a number of years. In 2007, they purchased a home together, and the daughters moved in with them permanently. Shortly after moving in together, both daughters accused him of having sexually abused them. Although they made allegations of sexual touching, they both denied any penetration. At first, the girls’ mother supported him, but she then turned against him.

Law enforcement did not conduct a very thorough investigation and moved forward primarily on the girls’ allegations. Our client was arrested and went to trial in August 2009. As part of its evidence at the 2009 trial, the prosecutor presented the testimony of a nurse who displayed photographs of both girls’ hymens and testified that they were obliterated. She also displayed pictures of normal hymens, leaving the jury with the impression that there must have been some abuse. Our client was convicted, sentenced to 14 years and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He served almost four years before his conviction was overturned on appeal. The court released him on an increased bail pending the second trial.

Efforts to resolve the case without a second trial were not successful. The defense offered to accept a plea to time served. The state demanded a sentence of 9 years. Our client rejected the state’s offer and went to trial.

In 2016, Tom was brought in by our client and his family to serve as co-counsel at the retrial — nearly 6 years after the charges were first brought. He worked with one of the original attorneys who had tried the case in 2009, Melanie Morgan, who was very effective in cross-examining the investigating agent at the second trial and exposing the lack of any meaningful investigation. It was obvious when the cross examination was complete, that there had been a rush to judgment.

In addition, the defense took a different approach with the evidence. Since the medical evidence (obliterated hymens) did not comport to the girls’ allegations (touching but no penetration), we brought in a gynecologist who testified that there must have been some penetration, and that the medical evidence was not consistent with the allegations. The defense then displayed the evidence used by the state in its first trial, but not utilized in the second. Tom and Melanie pointed out to the jury that it was the defense who presented the medical evidence that was collected by the state.

There was some evidence that the mother accused a member of her family of abuse. This testimony was not admitted at the first trial but was in the second. As part of the criminal investigation, the social worker and the investigating law enforcement officer recorded video statements from each of the girls, all of which were played for the jury at trial (for over 1.5 hours) despite the girls’ having testified. The defense included a Power Point presentation in its closing argument that outlined all of the reasonable doubt generated by not only the evidence but also the lack of evidence. The jury deliberated less than two hours before finding our client not guilty of all counts.