Our thanks to Steve for this remarkable piece from the US. Extracts:
SALEM, Ore. — The discovery of a black Lab named Lucy led to the unravelling of a criminal case Monday against an Oregon man who had begun serving a 50-year prison sentence. Joshua Horner, a plumber from the central Oregon town of Redmond, was convicted on April 12, 2017, of sexual abuse of a minor.
In the trial, the complainant testified Horner had threatened to shoot her animals if she went to the police about the alleged molestation, and said she saw him shoot her dog, killing it, to make his point.
Six months after a jury convicted Horner in a verdict that was not unanimous, [J4MB emphasis] he asked the Oregon Innocence Project for help. The group took up his case.
When the group raised concerns in April about the case with Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, he agreed to work with them…
“Lucy the dog was not shot. Lucy the dog is alive and well,” Hummel’s office said in a statement…
After Lucy was found, the complainant failed to attend a meeting in August to discuss her testimony, Hummel said. Last Wednesday, one of his investigators heard she was at a home near Redmond. When he pulled up to the driveway, she ran away…
Horner had been indicted under a previous district attorney, but the trial and conviction came under Hummel’s watch.
Hummel said in an email the issue of the dog being shot was raised for the first time during the trial, so there was no investigation to be done regarding it prior to trial, “and we had no credible reason to question the statement after it was made.” [J4MB: The man on trial denying he’d shot the dog was evidently not a “credible reason”, in contrast with the word of a female minor, in a case that was to lead to a 50-year prison sentence. And the issue of the dog being shot not being raised pre-trial didn’t raise suspicions about the girl’s reliability? It would be hard to invent a clearer story to illustrate that in matters of sexual abuse, men are presumed guilty, needing to prove their innocence.]
If everyone who read this gave us just £1.00 – or even better, £1.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. Click here to make a difference. Thanks.