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Category Archives: Maricopa County Superior Court Victories

Felony Child Prostitution, (2 Counts) Aggravated Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation & (4 Counts) Felony Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation Reduced to Solicitation to Commit Child Abuse with Probation and 120 Days in Jail with Work Furlough/Release – State v Mr. L (DMC No. 13100) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-160156):

Mr. L was on an internet chat room when he began conversations with a girl he believed to be 16 years old.  In reality, a Chandler Detective was pretending to be the 16 year old. Mr. L was 42 years old at the time, and began having sexually explicit conversations with the undercover Detective.  During those conversations, Mr. L admitted that he knew he could get in trouble because of her age and his age. He also asked for sexually explicit photographs from the Detective, and he allegedly sent pictures of his penis. They then made arrangements to meet at a gas station and he was asked if he could bring $75 dollars, some Mountain Dew and condoms to give to what he thought was a 16 year old girl.  When he pulls up at the gas station he is immediately arrested and is found to have the $75 dollars, the condoms, Mountain Dew and the cell phones in which he was communicating with the Detective.  When Mr. L was interviewed, he admitted to everything.

We were able to show that the photos found on the cell phones could not match as identifiers to link him directly to the photos. We also argued that the $75 dollars was not directly being used to pay her for sex, as they had already agreed to have sex prior to that conversation.  We stated it could be construed that the money was merely a gift, along with the Mountain Dew.  Ultimately, we were able to convince the prosecution to reduce the charges to Solicitation, and Mr. L was sentenced to Probation with 120 days in jail with work furlough/release.  He was originally facing the possibility of 7 to 21 years in prison.

Felony Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, (5 Counts) Felony Sexual Conduct with a Minor and (1 Count) Felony Furnishing Harmful or Obscene Items to Minor Reduced to Child Abuse with Probation and 60 Days in Jail – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 12417) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-119425):

Mr. M was employed as a Detention Officer at a local prison for the Arizona Department of Corrections. He had met a young woman at the State Fair who claimed to be 17 years old almost turning 18.  He started a physical relationship with her and an internet relationship with her where she would send him nude photographs at his request. The young woman turned out to be 15 years of age, which compounded difficulty in Mr. M’s case.  If she had stated she was 18 years of age, but was actually 15 years of age or older, he would have had a defense to the charges. Because she had started the relationship stating she was 17, he did not have that particular defense available. However, we were able to show that he was not a threat to his own minor children.  Therefore, he was allowed to have contact with his minor children while on probation, and he did not have to register as a sex offender.  He was also allowed to have computer access during the course of his probation.

Felony Luring  a Minor for Sexual Exploitation Reduced to Attempted Child Abuse with Probation, Zero Additional Days in Jail and No Sex Offender Registration or Sex Offender Probation Terms – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 11380) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2012-132313): Mr. M was on a internet chat line when he contacted a girl who identified herself as being 14 years old. This person was actually an undercover Detective posing as an underage child.  Detectives claimed that various sexually explicit conversations were had in which Mr. M attempted to have the girl go onto a webcam and masturbate.  They also said he invited her over on two different occasions to his house to go swimming, and stated he would be nude the entire time.

When he was arrested, he told police that he had no intention of ever touching the mythical 14 year old girl.  They claim he also told them he did not think it was illegal to talk to an underage girl into masturbating while on video.  We were able to demonstrate that he had no intention of actually making physical contact with anyone.  This was done through a polygraph test.   We also presented evidence that he was suffering from cancer and that being incarcerated would be detrimental to his health.  Lastly, we were able to argue for Interstate Compact which, allowed him to move out of state while on probation. All without any jail, sex offender registration or sex offender probationary terms.

(40 COUNTS) FELONY COMPUTER TAMPERING, TAMPERING with PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, ACQUISITION of a NARCOTIC DRUG, THEFT and FRAUD SCHEMES REDUCED to 3.75 YEARS in PRISON – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 12321) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2012-007417): Our office was retained after Mr.  M, a former Phoenix Police Detective, was arrested and extradited to Arizona. Initially, we were retained for just the Initial Appearance which involved a 40 count indictment for Computer Tampering per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2316, Tampering with Physical Evidence per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2809, Acquisition of Narcotic Drugs per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3408, Theft per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1802, and Fraudulent Schemes per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2310. Subsequent to this, the client retained us for the entire case.

At the not guilty Arraignment, a brief discussion was had with  the  assigned  prosecutor, who  advised  that  there  was  over  5000  pages  of discovery. He advised he would be filing a motion to designate the case “complex.” After this hearing, which was attended by my partner, Certified Criminal Law Specialist Christine Whalin, she and I met to discuss the motion to modify release conditions that had been filed and the anticipated voluminous discovery that was forthcoming.

In Court, co-counsel and I appeared to address the bond on the matter. We ascertained a $50,000 secured bond, which the client’s family subsequently posted. At the initial pretrial conference the, Commissioner granted the State’s motion to designate the case “complex” and reset the last day. An additional motion to modify release conditions had been filed at this time and a hearing was set to address that two weeks after the IPTC date. Subsequent to this court hearing co-counsel and I met with Mr. M to discuss his options in this case and the strategy that would be taken. During this meeting, we determined the best strategy would be for us to try to negotiate the best plea offer possible and  potentially  have  our  client  speak  with  the  Prosecutor  and/or  Detective.  Soon after this meeting, we received our first offer from the Prosecutor, which was five years in the Department of Corrections with a probation tail.  On Two weeks later, myself and co-counsel appeared to address our additional motion to modify release conditions – specifically requesting that Mr. M be able to reside in Pennsylvania while the case was ongoing. This motion was granted by the court.

After having received the voluminous discovery on this case, both co-counsel and I spent hours reviewing and summarizing the accusations being made by the State. We also spoke with our client about sending information to provide in a deviation letter to the Prosecutor.

A deviation letter was prepared and submitted to the Prosecutor for review. Although the deviation was denied, the Prosecutor indicated he was open to reconsideration with additional information. Subsequently, interviews began to commence. Soon after this, the Prosecutor approached us regarding a potential “free-talk” with our client. A free-talk occurred another free-talk occurred shortly thereafter. After the second free-talk, a modified offer was extended to either five years in the Department of Corrections or a range of three to seven years. After conveying this new offer to Mr. M, he requested we counter with a request for intensive probation for a stipulated term of seven years with counseling, community service and a fine of $10,000. This counter-offer was requested and staffed by the Prosecutor and ultimately we were successful in getting a meeting scheduled with the elected Maricopa County Attorney and the Prosecutor. We met at the County Attorney’s Office in an effort to have a probation offer extended. Unfortunately, there was no agreement on that, however, the State advised that we could pick a judge for change of plea and sentencing and they would not oppose whoever we chose.

Eventually a settlement conference occurred before a settlement Judge. At this time, Mr. M entered the plea agreement that allowed for a range in the Department of Corrections of anywhere between three to seven years. The plea was not accepted at the time that it was entered, in order to allow Mr. M to remain out of custody pending sentencing. I appeared for the sentencing and argued mitigating factors. Mr. M was sentenced to the low end of the range at 3.75 years in the Department of Corrections, and given credit for 53 days of presentence incarceration. He was placed on probation for 3 years following that term in the Department of Corrections.

FELONY TAMPERING with PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, FELONY CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT PERJURY, FELONY OBSTRUCTION of a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION and FELONY FRAUDULENT SCHEMES REDUCED to PROBATION with ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 11855) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2013-000547):

Mr. A was cited with a Misdemeanor DUI in the City of Gilbert. He then retained the services of Mr. K (a high profile defense attorney in the Phoenix area) in order to defend him. He provided Mr. K with a cell phone video purporting to be video taken from the front of his vehicle as a “dash cam” at the time of the stop. On the video, it showed him properly exiting a bar parking lot and driving correctly without any traffic violations. He was also narrating while he was driving, and claimed that an Officer was pulling up behind him and stopping him. He then stopped the cell phone video.

Unbeknownst to Mr. K, Mr. A falsified the video. He then had a co-worker alter the date time stamped on the video. It was of such quality that Mr. K’s forensic expert analyzed the video and wrote a report finding the video was accurate and untampered with. All of that information was then submitted to the Gilbert City Prosecutor and the DUI charge was dismissed against Mr. A.

The co-worker who had altered the video for Mr. A subsequently had a falling out with him. He then contacted Police and reported Mr. A. Mr. A was subsequently charged with Fraudulent Schemes, Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing a Criminal Investigation and Conspiracy to Commit Perjury. We were then retained by Mr. A. Myself and my partner, Christine Whalin met and formulated the strategy to (1) legally attack some of the charges as not  being  factually  sufficient  as  to  the crime  actually  committed,  (2)  gather  all  mitigating evidence regarding Mr. A, (3) agree to full restitution as to the Gilbert Police Department’s estimation  (which  was  in  the thousands  of dollars),  and  (4) meet  with  the Prosecutor and Prosecutor’s Supervisor to try and achieve an offer which would not result in any prison or jail time.

As the case progressed, my partner, Certified Criminal Law Specialist Christine Whalin and myself met at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office with the Prosecutor and her Supervisor. Although we could not secure an offer which would allow for only a Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor, we did secure an offer which resulted in the dismissal of the Class 2 Fraudulent Schemes per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2310. Mr. A pled to Obstructing a Criminal Investigation per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2409, (a Class 5 Felony), an amended charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2809, and Solicitation to Commit Perjury per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2704 and 13-1002,  (both Class 6 Open Felonies). There was also no agreement as to sentencing. After I conducted the mitigation hearing, the Judge sentenced Mr. A to supervised probation with no jail time. This was a very high profile case that was covered by the press throughout each and every step of the proceedings.

(11 COUNTS) FELONY SEXUAL ABUSE REDUCED to PROBATION with ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 134643) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-140803):

Dr. A was practicing as a Nephrologist and Kidney expert at the medical office he founded. A client was examined by him and alleged that he fondled her vagina area and pressed his erect penis against her while conducting an exam. After this was reported to Police, they arrested Dr. A and publicized the case on the local news. As a result, 8 other women came forward claiming that they had also been sexually abused by Dr. A during medical examinations. Ultimately, he was indicted with 11 Counts of Sex Abuse per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1404, involving 8 different women. The 9th women’s allegation had previously been investigated by Police (in which I represented Dr. A several years prior), and he was not charged because the Statute of Limitations had since run regarding that particular victim’s case.

We subpoenaed and interviewed many of his medical staff and we were able to show that only 1 patient had ever complained of any type of misbehavior by Dr. A. We also used a private investigator to research the backgrounds of many of the alleged victims, and we were able to show that some of them had prior mental health issues. After the case had been ongoing for over a year, we were able to secure a settlement conference in front of a settlement Judge. During that settlement conference, I argued to the Judge that Prison was inappropriate, and any plea should not contain Jail as a condition of probation. We finally settled on a plea which would require some deferred Jail, thereby allowing Dr. A to remain free during his probation. The final plea was to 2 Counts of Sexual Abuse, (1 a Class 5 Felony, and 1 a Class 6 Felony), with a stipulation to Probation and Jail to be left up to the Judge.

At sentencing, I argued to the Judge numerous mitigating factors and requested deferred Jail. After the victims spoke, the Prosecutor requested 2 full years of Jail and a request that Dr. A be taken into custody in front of the victims. Ultimately, the Judge gave Dr. A supervised Probation and deferred Jail time. Dr. A is performing admirably on Probation, and it is our expectation he will not serve even 1 day in Jail.

NOT GUILTY/COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at JURY TRIAL- (4COUNTS) FELONY AGGRAVATED DUI & DWI (.117 BAC) – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14803) DEC 4, 2017 (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2016-109074): Mr. S had 2 prior Misdemeanor DUI convictions, 1 prior Felony Conviction and was on Felony Probation when he was arrested for a second offense aggravated DUI. He was facing a minimum of 4 and a half years if he were to be convicted at trial. The State initially offered 3 years of prison, and later reduced the offer to 8 months of prison. Mr. S turned down the offer because he was not driving the vehicle.

At trial, against the Maricopa County Attorney Office’s top Vehicular Crimes Prosecutor, we utilized the officer’s AXON video camera’s footage (which they wear on their bodies). We were able to show that while Mr. S was being arrested and searched, only his watch, wallet and cell phone were recovered and placed on the hood of his wife’s vehicle. The car keys were never found. As he was being arrested, the cars panic button went off momentarily (for 3 beeps), and nobody could determine who triggered the vehicle’s alarm. At trial, we were able to show through witnesses that his wife actually had the keys and she had triggered the alarm.  Mr. S had never driven the vehicle, and was merely seated inside the vehicle using the cell phone when officers arrived on scene. We were able to show that the officer’s testimony that she saw him drive 1-2 feet was not credible.

Approximately 3 years before ms. S hired our firm, she had been arrested while driving her vehicle. The police gave her a preliminary breath test which revealed no alcohol in her system. When ms. S refused to do field sobriety test’s, they arrested her and searched her vehicle. They found a tylenol bottle which contained various prescription drugs inside. They then charged her with dui drugs and possession of dangerous prescription drugs.

It was later shown that she did not have any impairing quantities of the drugs in her system while she was driving. In addition, she did have prescriptions for all of the medication found in her possession. At that time, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss all charges “in the interest of justice”. However, this arrest still appeared on her record and was causing her problems with employment. She then hired us to have her arrest record cleared by way of a “notation on the record”. We were able to explain to the judge all of the proceeding facts, and he agreed with our motion argument, and issued a “notation of cleared person on the record.” this resulted in cleaning up her arrest record, and that prior arrest no longer appears when employers run background checks regarding ms. S.

Mr. C had 4 children by way of his wife. He and his wife had put a camera inside of his daughters’ room for safety monitoring, and had informed their daughter of this. Mr. C and his wife also lived the “swinger” lifestyle. As they were getting ready to go through a divorce, ms. C filed a police report claiming that mr. C had sexual conduct with his daughter, had videotaped her masturbating, and had expressed an interest in having an incestuous relationship with her. The police conducted a “confrontation call”, in which they attempted to have mr. C make admissions. He did not make any admissions. However, he was arrested and charged with 2 counts of child molestation/ a dangerous crimes against children (DCAC), 2 counts of sexual abuse (DCAC) and 1 count of voyeurism pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1424. He was then taken into custody and held “non bondable” while his case progressed.

We were retained to represent him on the criminal charges and began our investigation. The daughters’ story did not match up regarding some of her facts, plus she was biased in favor or her mother due to the pending divorce. Because she knew off the existence of the camera in her room, the prosecutor was going to have a difficult time proving some of the elements of voyeurism. The major hurdle in the case was a video recording of his daughter masturbating which was found on mr. C’s personal computer. We were ultimately able to have the case reduced to probation with 6 months in jail (credit for the time he already served and no sex offender registration). Mr. C was released from custody immediately after sentencing. He originally was facing the rest of his life in prison if he would have been convicted of these charges.

FELONY IMPERSONATING a DOCTOR REDUCED to Class 6 Open/ MISDEMEANOR with PROBATION and ZERO DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 5633) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2005117450): Mr. C had been walking around the Thunderbird Samaritan Hospital pretending to be a medical student. Glendale Police were called out, and they made contact with Mr. C. He was wearing scrubs, a lab coat and had a stethoscope around his neck. He admitted to being in the hospital approximately 7 times prior in the doctor’s lounge and the baby nursery area because he was trying to get a feel for what it was like to be a doctor. He was subsequently arrested for Criminal Impersonating pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2406. We were able to convince the Prosecutor to offer him probation without jail, and eventually the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. Mr. C has no felony convictions on his record.

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