Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sex-crimes prosecutor charged with 12 sexual offenses

Here is some news from the Oakland Calif suburbs:
MARTINEZ — State authorities charged a Contra Costa County sex crimes prosecutor with 12 felony counts Friday, claiming he raped and sodomized a fellow deputy district attorney at his Martinez home in early May, tying and binding her and using a handgun and an ice pick.

Michael Gressett, a 21-year veteran of the county district attorney's office, pleaded not guilty Friday morning and then proclaimed his innocence outside the same courthouse where he tried cases before his Oct. 2 arrest. His lawyer says the sex, if rough, was consensual.

"I can say it's been very difficult after all these years of prosecuting the bad guys," Gressett said. "The truth will come out ... I stand in the shadows of fear in a false accusation. I know the accuser knows they are not true."

Gressett remains free on $1 million bail and is scheduled to return to court Jan. 27. His accuser is identified in court papers only as "Jane Doe." Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Charles Treat ordered them to stay away from each other.

The charges include four counts of sodomy by force, three counts of forced sexual penetration, two counts of forcible rape, and single counts of oral copulation by force and false imprisonment. In the last charge, state prosecutors claim Gressett threatened a crime "which would result in death and great bodily injury to Jane Doe, with the specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat."

That threat, the charge states, "was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to Jane Doe a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution."

Deputy Attorney General Peter Flores said the charges stem from "multiple acts on the same day." Police say they took place May 8 at Gressett's home on Village Place in Martinez and that they were notified of the allegations through the district attorney's office on Sept. 26. The judge has sealed information from a search of the home.

If convicted, Gressett, 51, could face a nearly 23-year prison sentence, although with the enhancements he could also face life, Flores said. Among them, Gressett is accused of using a handgun in 10 of the counts against him. He is accused of using the ice pick in three counts, including forcible rape and forced oral copulation. According to the charges, Gressett used both a handgun and an ice pick when he falsely imprisoned Jane Doe "by force, menace, fraud and deceit ..."
So two sex-crime prosecutors have some rough sex on May 8, and the woman lodges a complaint on Sept. 26 that sounds like it came from a horror movie plot? I don't believe it. If it were true, she would have reported it the same day. She is a prosecutor herself, and she knows the law. I think that Jane Doe's name should be reported.

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