If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Judge

Talk about someone being the poster judge for the legal system being backwards and flawed.

To say that Judge W. Daniel Phillips was outrageous is an understatement. I lost any confidence in the court when the judge was suggesting that he would pass sentencing on Patrick without even taking the time to read Patrick's court ordered sexual psycho evaluation. It took a lot of bantering back and forth between lawyers to hold off final sentencing for one week. It was many peoples observation in the courtroom that this judge was very arrogant in his demeanor and speech.

On the day of final sentencing the judge began with a lengthy speech that was somewhat offensive at points. One example is when the judge equated a sexual predator to a shop lifter or a drunk driver. That statement bothered quite a few people that were in attendance that day. It showed a minimization of the crimes Patrick D. Rojas committed. I am convinced that Judge Phillips could not have read the evaluation because he just went along with the plea agreement in place.

The judge was the last hope for some kind of justice in our case. The judge did not have the authority to change the charges against Patrick but he did have the authority to over ride the plea agreement and sentence Patrick to the maximum for what he was charged. The maximum jail time for the gross-misdemeanor Patrick was charged with would have been 1 year in county jail.

If the judge would have read the evaluation he would have discovered that Patrick should have been charged with child molestation in the first degree which is a felony that held an 8 to 25 year sentence range. The evaluation held information proving that Patrick had 5 other minor victims. How could the judge just go with the original plea agreement. The original plea agreement was made with the belief that Patrick had kissed our child on the lips only. But the judge should have known otherwise from the information in the evaluation. This process was so upsetting. Unjust! Maddening!

From the information I gathered Judge W. Daniel Phillips retired in March 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are being kind by describing Judge Phillips as "somewhat offensive". He was arrogant, ignorant and demeaning and should've been brought up on charges of "criminal stupidity". I sat in the courtroom that day with my mouth hanging open, nearly incapable of processing his likening of Patrick's crimes to that of a drunken driver. I said then, and have said many times since, that drunken driving is frequently a victimless crime, while child molestation is never a victimless crime. Anyone who draws a parallel between the two is painfully ignorant of the devestation brought on by sexual abuse. Patrick got away with his crimes because of a system that favors criminals over victims, that allows a criminal to request a judge more favorably inclined towards him, and because a traffic court judge is deemed to have ample knowledge and experience to deal with a subject as serious as the sexual abuse of a child. Patrick worked the system and the system worked for him. It still angers me and breaks my heart for your child, for other children and for adult survivors. I am so proud of you for the fight you've already fought, the fight you continue to pursue and the light that you zealously shine on this pedophile and the subject in general. You humble me.