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Category Archives: Maricopa County Superior Court Victories

State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 14909) – Felony Custodial Interference, Felony Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Felony Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, and Felony Sending Obscene Internet Materials to a Minor – Reduced to Probation With 90 Days of Jail – Yuma County Superior Court (Case No. CR2017-00299): Mr. R was a school teacher at the local high school and he was 32 years of age. He befriended a 17-year-old student at the high school while he was the sponsor of the chess team. She was constantly with Mr. R, and eventually she went on a three-day vacation with him to an out-of-state location. The student eventually told her friend that there had been some fondling, digital penetration and exchange of some lewd photographs via the Internet. The girl’s friend told the other girl’s boyfriend, and teachers were notified.
Mr. R was ultimately charged with Felony Custodial Interference for taking the minor out of state. He was also charged with Felony Luring a Minor for Sex Exploitation when he requested photographs from her on the Internet. Lastly, he was charged with Felony Sexual Conduct with a Minor and also charged for sending obscene Internet materials to her. If he were to be convicted of all charges and sentenced to the maximum, he could have spent well over a decade in prison. Ultimately, the case was handled by a local Yuma attorney along with our Firm, and was reduced to Probation with 90 days in Jail and Sex Offender Registration.

Felony Benefits Fraud ($50,800 Misappropriated from SSI), Felony Fraudulent Schemes and Felony False Swearing Reduced to Probation with Zero Days of Actual Jail – State v. Ms. M (DMC No. 12750) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-002739): Ms. M was born without part of her arm.  She was on SSI Benefits and had to fill out regular forms with the Social Security Administration.  She became married to a gentleman who made good money, and who owned several houses.  In addition, she received a $250,000 civil settlement (which left her with $100,000 after attorney’s fees and cost).  She did not report any of these to the Social Security Administration and, in fact, signed forms stating she was not married and had no other income.

When she was interviewed by the Social Security Agency, she denied being married.  When they showed her a copy of her marriage certificate, she broke down and confessed to the entire scheme.  She was then charged with Fraudulent Schemes Involving Benefits Fraud, Theft and False Swearing.  If all charges were run consecutively and she was sentenced to the maximum, she would do almost 30 years in prison.

We became involved and we were able to show some of the hardships that Ms. M had faced.  We also showed through Mitigation that she was truly remorseful and was now seeking counseling to deal with the loss of her arm and medical situation. Ultimately, we were able to get the charges reduced and the Judge sentenced Ms. M to probation with Zero Days of Actual Jail.

Felony Luring a Minor for Sexual Purposes and (2 Counts) Felony Sex Conduct with a Minor Reduced to Child Abuse with Probation, Zero Days in Jail and No Sex OffenderRegistration – State v Mr. A (DMC No. 14559) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2016-002795):  Mr. A was 37 years old, and he began a relationship with a young lady who he thought was over 18 years of age.  They and an ongoing relationship in which they had sexual intercourse on several occasions.  He found out she was actually 17 years old before the final time that they had sex.  They also engaged in texting back and forth where he solicited her to come over to his house and have sex after he found out she was 17.

The girl’s mother was later killed and during an investigation by Police, they analyzed her cell phone and found the conversations between her and Mr. A.  Subsequently, an investigation ensued into Mr. A regarding Luring of a Minor for Sexual Purposes and Sexual Misconduct with a Minor.  He was ultimately arrested and charged with those crimes.

We then became involved and began investigating the case.  We were able to show the Prosecutor that she did tell him she was “19, almost 20” when they originally met.  We were also able to present evidence showing that Mr. A was not a predator for underage girls.  Ultimately, the Prosecutor agreed to amend all charges down to a Child Abuse which included Probation and Zero Jail.  In addition, the Judge agreed that there would be no Sex Offender Registration requirement for Mr. A.  This has allowed him to remain a free man and have gainful employment.

(5 Counts) Felony Aggravating Luring of a Minor for Sexual Purposes (DCAC) Reduced to Probation with Zero Days in Jail – State v. Mr. O (DMC No. 14558) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2016-132085):  Mr. O was on Craig’s List, when he contacted what he believed to be an Escort who was over the age of 18.  This turned out to be an Undercover Officer posing as a 14 year old.  During the course of conversations via text, the undercover informed Mr. O that she was 14.  She then requested various photographs of his penis.  Texting commenced to go back and forth between the Undercover Officer and Mr. O, and Mr. O sent photos and videos of himself masturbating.

The Undercover Officer, who was on the KIK account, attempted many times to have Mr. O come to a specific location.  He never did, and eventually a Search Warrant was executed at Mr. O’s house and he was arrested.  He was subsequently charged with 5 different counts of Aggravated Luring of a Minor pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3560.  It was aggravated because there were more than 2 offenses committed over various time spans.  This subjected Mr. O to potentially serving a large amount of time in prison.

Because Mr. O was compelled to give his iPhone password to the Detective, we were able to argue that under Bumper v North Carolina and State v Valenzuela, that this search procedure wasn’t properly done.  We threatened to file a Motion to Suppress all evidence based upon those cases. Ultimately, the State offered Mr. O a plea that was reduced to Probation with Zero Days in Jail.

(2 Counts) Felony Sexual Conduct with a Minor (DCAC) and Felony Child Molestation (DCAC) Dismissed – State v. Mr. H (DMC No. 14557) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2016-153068):  Mr. H was married to a woman who had a 14 year old daughter.  He and the alleged victim had fallen asleep on a couch and when he woke up and found that she had her hand on his crotch.  He immediately brought this to the mother’s attention and they became concerned that his step-daughter was overly sexualized. Later, they learned that she had been having sex with her boyfriend.

At the point they found out that the step-daughter was having sex, they transferred her to a different high school. She became very upset and got into a physical altercation with her mother.  She then reported the incident on the couch to her school, but she had now claimed that it was her step-dad who was touching her.  Mr. H was immediately arrested and put in jail.  We became involved and had him released on a low bond.  As we were investigating the case, we secured a private investigator to interview all parties involved.  When the step-daughter had broken up with her boyfriend, information was received from him indicating that she had lied.  Eventually, she admitted that she had lied and she had written a letter to both her mom and step-father admitting she had lied.  This was provided to the Police and the Prosecutor, and all charges were dropped.  If Mr. H would have been convicted on all 3 counts, he would have spent a minimum of 36 years in prison.

(2 Counts) Felony Computer Tampering & (2 Counts) Felony Trafficking in Stolen Property ($20,400) Reduced to Probation with 30 Days in Jail – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 13909) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2015-158379):  Mr. M worked for the Life Lock company and was accused of taking approximately 10 laptop computers and selling them online on Craigslist.  The ads on Craigslist claimed that these computers were “recycled”.  An undercover Tempe police officer made an arrangement to meet with Mr. M and purchase a computer for $1,000.  After that purchase was complete, officers then showed up to Mr. M’s house with a search warrant and confiscated other computers.  He was ultimately charged with 2 counts of Computer Tampering and 2 counts of Trafficking in Stolen Property.

The reason for the charge of Computer Tampering was for the deletion of items that were on those laptops originally. Ultimately, we were able to show some mitigating factors on behalf of Mr. M.  The state agreed to a plea which included Probation and 30 days of initial jail. Other jail was left hanging over his head, but that could be deferred upon successful completion of Probation. Mr. M successfully completed Probation, paid restitution and avoided a potential aggravated sentence of over 10 years in prison.

(2 Counts) Felony Extortion Dismissed – State v. Ms. M (DMC No. 13613) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2012-010200):  Ms. M was engaged in a dispute with a doctor’s office, in which she had alleged she had been traumatized and assaulted by the doctor.  In order to resolve the case civilly, she made several demands herself, which included a threat of going to the police, the medical board and the media if the case was not settled quickly.  The doctor’s office contacted the police and filed charges of Theft by Extortion pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1804 (6).  In that Statute it makes it a crime to “expose a secret or an assertive fact, whether true or false, tending to subject anyone to hatred, contempt or ridicule or to impair the person’s credit or business.” The case went to a Grand Jury and they indicted and arrested Ms. M.

We became involved in the case and provided a court case decision from 1995 to the Prosecutor which declared that portion of the Statute to be unconstitutional.  Under State v Weinstein, 182 Ariz. 364 (Div 1 1995).  Once the Deputy County Attorney realized they had began prosecution on an invalid statute, all charges were immediately Dismissed.

Felony Child Prostitution (4 Counts) Felony Sexual Exploitation of Minor/Child Pornography and (4 Counts) Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Public Sexual Indecency & Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor Reduced to 5 Years in Prison – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 13606) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2015-114258): Mr. A had been living with a roommate for many years.  Also with the roommate had two young daughters who lived with them. Mr. A thought that one of the daughters was now 18 years of age, when in reality she was 15 years old.  He and another woman engaged in sex acts with the 15 year old, all while on videotape.  He also offered money for this activity along with alcohol.  He was ultimately charged with Child Prostitution per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3212, and 4 counts of Child Pornography (because some of the acts were filmed), 4 counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor, along with Public Sexual Indecency and Contributing to the Delinquency of Minor.

He was facing the rest of his life in prison, and his only defense was that he thought she was 18 years of age.  This defense was problematic, due to the fact that he also admitted that he knew her since she was 8 years old when he first met her, yet that was only 7 years prior.  This would put her age at 15.  Ultimately the state made several offers which eventually got down to a low offer of a stipulated 5 years in prison.  Mr. A accepted that offer, which was far below the standard offer for these types of charges.

(5 Counts) Felony Child Prostitution (Dangerous Crimes Against Children) Reduced to Luring (Non DCAC) with 2 Years in Prison – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14024) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-156066):  Mr. S reached out to an undercover Detective on a tagged social media account.  The profile was for an 18 year old girl who was an escort.  It also included three pictures of an adult female.  After the undercover Detective was contacted, the Detective took on a persona of a 16 year old girl.  Various conversations were had about bringing in other girls for sex who were 13 and 11 years old.

Many of the conversations did not specifically refer money from Mr. S.  All of the money talk came from the undercover Detective without any explicit agreement by Mr. S.  Ultimately, he arranged to meet the undercover and he was immediately arrested for Solicitation of Child Prostitution per Arizona Revised Statue ARS 13-3212.  They confiscated his computer tablets and phone, which detailed all of the conversations.

Mr. S had some potential defenses, however, if he lost at trial he would face a minimum of 35 years in prison, and a maximum of 105 years in prison.  Just prior to trial, the State offered to reduce the charge to 3 counts of Luring with 2 years in prison.  Mr. S could be released after 1 year and 8 months with good behavior.

Felony Child Prostitution Reduced to Attempted Child Abuse Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor with Probation and 90 Days in Jail with Work Furlough/Release – State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 12174) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-109850):  Mr. D responded to an advertisement on Backpage.com. He thought he was speaking with an escort, but it turned out to be an undercover police Officer.  The Officer stated, by way of text, that she was “15, almost 16”.  They arranged to meet at a hotel room.

Mr. D showed up with $80 and two condoms.  A conversation was held on videotape which he again was told that the undercover was “15, almost 16”.  Once he was placed under arrest, he stated that he didn’t believe her and thought she was lying.  She looked much closer to “30 years of age” was his comment.  He also stated that if he thought she had looked as young as she stated she was, he would have left the situation immediately. He was still charged with Child Prostitution under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3212 (B) (2) and was facing 7 to 21 years in prison.  Because of the potential defenses he had, the State originally offered a plea to Pandering, a Class 5 Felony.  We eventually got them to agree to drop the plea down to Attempted Child Abuse, Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor with Probation and 90 days in jail with work furlough/release. At the conclusion of Probation, Mr. D’s charged turned into a Misdemeanor. He has no felony conviction on his record and he does not have to register as a sex offender.

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