Sex Crimes Cases Results

Not-Guilty Verdict Despite Prosecution’s Character Attack

State: Maryland
Court: Circuit Court for Frederick County
Case Name: State v. J.B.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Judge: Theresa M. Adams
Date: February 24, 2015

Result: Jury Verdict – Not Guilty on All 6 Counts

The State charged our client with 5 counts of second degree rape, 2 counts of second degree sex offense, 1 count of third degree sex offense and 1 count of assault. One count of rape and the third degree sex offense and assault counts were dismissed prior to trial.  The only plea offer the state made was 40 years with all but 20 years suspended.  Because the charges are deemed to be crimes of violence under Maryland law, the client would have had to serve a minimum of 10 years before even being eligible for parole.  The plea was rejected.

The case lasted 5 full days and presented some challenging issues for the defense.  Before retaining counsel, the client gave a 2-hour video interview with law enforcement.  During the interrogation, he lied about taking pictures and his past association over many years with the complainant who had a limited IQ.  The evidence also established that he was married and having an affair with the complainant’s mother.  During closing argument, the defense readily conceded he lied to the police, committed adultery and  displayed morally objectionable behavior,  This conduct, though, did not make him a rapist.  Three solid character witnesses testified as to his being peaceful, kind and non-violent.  The jury returned its not guilty verdicts on all counts after 7 hours of deliberation.

Not-Guilty Verdict After Two Previous Hung Jury Trials

State: Texas
Court: 380th Judicial District Court (Collin County)
Case Name: Texas v. C.D.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Heather Barbieri
Judge: Keith Dean
Date: March 2014

Result: Not Guilty (Jury Trial) ALL COUNTS

Our client was charged in Collin County Texas with nine counts of Indecency with a Child through sexual contact, which are second degree felonies each carrying a potential sentence of a minimum of two to a maximum of twenty years of incarceration.

The facts were nothing short of bizarre.  His stepdaughter accused him of touching her breast one time and her vagina one time in 2003 for “a few seconds” when she was 7 years old.  The alleged abuse stopped completely for three years until the family moved into a new home.  She then said that there were additional incidents of touching that lasted only seconds when she was between 11 and 15. In the first two trials, the specific incidents were not tied to any specific year or date.  She reported the abuse in 2011, when she was 15 years old, and her mom and stepfather were arguing about divorce.

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Facing 35-Year Sentence and Lifetime Registry: All Charges Dropped

State: Kentucky
Court: Nelson Circuit Court
Case Name: Kentucky v. D.O. Jr.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Julie M. Kaelin
Judge: John D. Seay
Date: October 2013

Result: All charges dropped prior to trial.

D.O. is the 42-year-old biological father of K.G.O, who was 4 years old at the time the allegations arose.  In the midst of a custody/visitation dispute and related domestic court involvement, K.G.O. claimed D.O “pinched and kissed her vagina”.

As a result of the allegations, he was charged with 4 felony offenses including First Degree Sexual Abuse and First Degree Sodomy. He faced a maximum of 35 years of incarceration and life-time reporting on the Sexual Registry.

Aggressive investigation and representation was undertaken including a pretrial challenge and hearing regarding the competency of the child, where we asserted that her claims were the result of suggestibility or taint induced by the natural mother. Kentucky does not legally recognize the concept of “suggestibility”, but psychological expert testimony was obtained and presented. Although the Court ruled in favor of the State, the Judge indicated he had “grave concerns” about the truthfulness of the child.

Motion filing, investigation and probing analysis continued between motion hearings and trial.  At the time of jury selection, all charges were dropped by the State.  Furthermore, we were able to obtain a court order that mandated D.O. would regain the partial custody of his daughter he had before the charges were filed, after a suitable period of supervised visitation.

Facing 20-Year Mandatory Minimum Sentence: No Megan’s Law Plea

State: Pennsylvania
Court: Warren County Common Pleas
Case Name: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Kelly P.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Robert C. Greene
Judge: Gregory J. Hammond
Date: August 2013

Result: Guilty plea to a single misdemeanor with no Megan’s Law registration

In a 10-count criminal information, our client was charged with sexual molestation of a child age 10-14. The accuser was age 24 when the accusations were brought forth. The charges carried a potential 94-year maximum sentence including a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence.  After exhaustive investigation, witness interviews and the retaining of a DNA expert, a plea bargain was reached to plead to a single misdemeanor count with a sentence range of probation to 3 months, and most significantly no sexual registry. Our client was sentenced to four years of probation.

State’s Expert Discredited; Inconsistencies of Child Witness Revealed

State: West Virginia
Court: Putnam County, WV
Case Name: West Virginia v. Roger D.
Lead Attorney: Tom Pavlinic
Co-counsel: Matt Clark
Judge: Philip Stowers
Date: April 2013

Result: Not Guilty (Jury Trial) ALL COUNTS

Our client was charged with Sexual Abuse in the First Degree; Sexual Abuse by a Guardian,Custodian or Person in a Position of Trust; and Use of Obscene Matter with Intent to Seduce a Minor. This was a huge victory in Putnam County, West Virginia for a number of reasons.

First, the judge in the criminal trial had presided over custody issues in family court. After hearing the evidence in that proceeding, he issued written findings of fact that Roger had sexually abuse his step-daughter continuously over a 5-year period. He refused to recuse himself, and the WV Supreme Court said he did not have to. Second, the judge refused a misdemeanor plea with lifetime sexual registration, saying that the plea was too lenient. Roger was facing 50 years and lifetime supervision over and above the registration. Third, the judge permitted the prosecution to call a previously undisclosed expert with only 2 days notice and would not grant a continuance. He said we could get our own expert – never imagining that we could and did! Fourth, the State paraded all its usual witnesses from law enforcement and the Child Advocacy Center. We were able to point out inconsistencies in the child’s testimony that were created solely through the State’s own evidence. The case began on Monday and the jury returned Not Guilty verdicts on all counts on Wednesday evening after nearly 6 hours of deliberation.