Prayers for McGowan

Written by Matt Rexroad on July 15th, 2011. Posted in General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Gail Klauer, Deputy to Supervisor McGowan
July 15, 2011

(916) 834-6441

Beth Gabor, Manager of Public Affairs
(530) 666-8042 [w] ▪ (530) 219-8464 [c]

Statement by Supervisor Mike McGowan

(Woodland, CA) – Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan is resting comfortably following surgery this morning.

Supervisor McGowan was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery. Post-operative testing shows no spread of cancer and no further treatment will be required.

Supervisor McGowan had a minor setback from his initial surgery and is recuperating from a wound infection.  His recovery is going very well.

The McGowan family respectfully asks for privacy and is grateful for the good thoughts from colleagues, family, friends and neighbors.

The McGowan family asks you to respect their privacy.  Any requests for information should be directed to the above contacts.

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The Case of Ajay Dev

Written by Matt Rexroad on July 14th, 2011. Posted in General

This summary was put together for me and others regarding the case of Ajay Dev.  The facts below are exactly why I will not be asking for an investigation into the case…..

This case was investigated by the Davis Police Department, with assistance from the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, and the FBI.  It was reviewed by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office who filed charges in 2006 for crimes that took place from 1999 through 2004.  The defendant was represented by privately retained counsel Michael Rothschild, noted as being one of the very best criminal defense attorneys in the Sacramento Region in the defense of sexual assault charges.  The defendant was held to answer after a multi-day preliminary hearing in which the victim testified.  Pretrial motions were made and ruled on, a jury questionnaire was used to help select a jury from four panels of prospective jurors and a trail which lasted 7 weeks was commenced.  The defendant was convicted of 76 out of 92 counts.  The Yolo County probation department prepared a report and the defendant was sentenced to 378 years and 4 months in State Prison by the Court on August 7, 2009.  An appeal has been filed, but to date the Appellant’s Opening Brief which would outline the issues they wish to raise on appeal has yet to be filed.  What follows is a synopsis of the case.

 

The defendant and his wife brought the victim (a distant relative of the defendant) here from Nepal in January of 1999 when she was barely 15 years old to live with them and be educated in the United States because her family in Nepal was poor.  The Victim testified that within weeks of her arrival in the United States, living with the Dev family in Davis, the defendnat began touching her inappropriately and soon moved to forcing her to have intercourse with him on average three times a week.  She stated that the defendant coerced and threatened her that she would be sent back to Nepal with a tarnished image, his marriage would be destroyed and her family in Nepal would suffer if she resisted or reported.  These multi weekly assaults continued the entire time she lived with the Devs including after she had turned 18.  At some point during these assaults the defendant had the victim watch pornography with him some of which included child pornography.  The victim alleged that the assaults of the defendant actually impregnated her once in late 2002 and another time in the spring of 2003.  She graduated high school and began community college still living in the Dev home with the assaults continuing.  She moved out of the Dev home and into an apartment in December of 2009 but the defendant would still not leave her alone.  He tried to coerce her into moving back home with financial incentives/blackmail and would contact any prospective boyfriend of the victim trying to break-up any relationship. He also came by her apartment and called her and asked het to meet with him.  A couple of these meetings happened in a motel where the defendant would tell the victim he just wanted to talk to her and then would end up sexually assaulting her.  This came to a head the night the defendant’s wife (Peggy Dev) was in the hospital for a medical procedure (1/29/04) and the defendant, while in the waiting room of the hospital was begging the victim to come home and allow him to continue having sex with her and that he would pay her to do so, he also threatened to get a gun and kill himself if she didn’t.  When Mrs. Dev was released and eveyone went back to the family home, the victim said the defendant tried to sexually assault her again, they argued loudly and she ended up running from the house.

The victim was so upset she finally told one of her friends what had been going on for so long and they convinced her to go to police.  She was interviewed and later at the direction of Davis PD placed a recorded phone call to the defendant.  This “pretext” phone call is a tactic used by police to catch a suspect off guard to see if they will make any incriminating admissions.  During this phone call between the victim and the defendant (which was partly in English and partly in Nepalese) the conversation went on and on and the defendant, who vacillated between denials and telling the victim that she should go ahead and report it and trying to dissuade her from doing so by telling her nothing would happen, actually tried to keep the victim on the line as she told him their conversation was through.  It was during one of these exchanges where the following exchange occurred:

 

 

 

 

Defendant: I have been telling you from the very beginning that my life will be gone but how about your life, your life will be gone, how can you save your life, just tell me.

 

Victim: How is my life re . . ruining daddy?

 

Defendant: Because you have fucked me after 18 years of your age.

 

Victim: Ok, so?

 

Defendant: That means you have given me consent.

 

Victim: No, I have not given any consent to you.

 

This part of the translation of the phone call was agreed upon as correct by both the victim and the defense hired expert translator.

 

After the pretext phone call a search warrant was served on the Dev home and computers seized which contained pornography, child pornography and references to child pornography that had been deleted.  Investigation by Davis PD was able to establish that the defendant had had abortions or miscariages of the alleged pregnancies described by the victim as well as motel receipts for a motel in Davis she said he had assaulted her at in December of 2003 or January of 2004.  When asked at the time of the search warrant in early 2004, neither Mr. Dev nor his wife wished to give any information to the investigators.

 

In the spring of 2004 as the investigation was continuing, the victim was preparing to return to Nepal for her sister’s wedding when she was threatened by the defendant that bad things would happen to her or her sister’s wedding if she continued with her claims of abuse at the hands of the defendant.  Before leaving for Nepal in June of 2004, the victim gave the Davis PD a letter saying she wished to “drop the charges.”  This was something that both the Davis Police Dept. and the Yolo County DA’s office were aware was done under threat and in no way affected the investigation.  We did anticipate that the defendant may cause problems for the victim while she was in Nepal because the defendant had contact with influential relatives there, so there was a conscious decision made that no charges would be filed until the victim was safely back in the U.S.  The defendant called the victim while she was in Nepal and told her not to come back to the U.S. and that the defendant would pay for her schooling if she cooperated and stayed away.  When that didn’t work, relatives of the defendant made a complaint against the victim saying the date of birth on her passport was incorrect and she was arrested the night before she was supposed to return home.  She ended up being detained in Nepal for about 18mos before she was able to get a new passport and with help of the Davis PD and US Embassy, get back to the U.S.  Upon the victim’s return to the U.S., charges against Mr. Dev were filed.

 

At the trial in 2009 the defendant was unanimously convicted of a total of 76 counts, 73 counts of sexual assault ranging from Jan./Feb. of 1999 until December of 2003 while the victim was living with the Dev family, and 3 counts of Dissuading a Witness, one for the period from the time the victim reported to police until she left for Nepal (including the pre-text phone call and threats to disrupt the sister’s wedding), and two counts for the defendant’s attempts to to talk victim out of returning to the U.S. and pursuing charges while she was in Nepal.

 

 

 

 

The jury acquitted Mr. Dev of 10 of the counts of sexual assault charged as having occurred during the first month of Feb. of ‘99 due to conflicts in the victim’s testimony as to how quickly the assaults escalated that first month when she was 15 years old.  The jury also acquitted Mr. Dev of showing pornography to a minor and showing child porn to a minor.  Despite the fact that the police found the pornography the victim described on the computers, her testimony as to the date that pornography was shown to her by the defendant was questionable and the jury could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that it was shown to her before she turned 18 in January of 2002.  The jury hung as to the charged sexual assaults that were alleged to have occurred after the victim moved out of the Dev home, incidents at a Motel 6 in Davis and at the home after Mrs. Dev’s surgery, and acquitted him on a charge of false imprisonment on the night of Mrs. Dev’s surgery.  As to the enhancements for great bodily injury for impregnating the victim on two specific occassions, the jury acquitted on one of the enhancements and hung on the other.

Dozens of E-mails

Written by Matt Rexroad on July 14th, 2011. Posted in General

Over the past 12 hours I have gotten dozens or e-mails from people all over the country with the following text… I am just deleting them all.

 

Dear Sir or Madam:,

Hundreds of people would NEVER support a convicted rapist! Hundreds of people ARE supporting Ajay Dev because they know he is INNOCENT of these crimes. Over 700 people have already signed a petition asking to free Ajay Dev!

You might be asking, “What can I do to fix this?” We feel strongly that Ajay Dev was a victim of an opportunistic woman and a problem in Yolo County, California, we refer to as “Cash for Convictions.” The Yolo County DA’s office receives grant money which is directly tied to the number of prosecutions and convictions for sex crimes. Unfortunately when grant money is awarded based on the number of arrests and convictions, the search for truth is corrupted.

We are asking your help to start an investigation into the case of Ajay Dev, a dark skinned man, who was convicted of rape even though there was NO physical evidence, no witnesses, no corroborated testimony; and the alleged victim’s testimony was inconsistent and outrageous. In fact, the accuser had been previously convicted of passport fraud and perjury in her own country of Nepal. Our judicial system has failed this innocent man and sent him to prison for 378 years.

Ajay and Peggy Dev adopted a 16 year old teenage girl from Nepal in the hopes of giving her a good education and a better life. Serious problems started once she turned 18 and got her green card. Because Ajay and Peggy reported these problems to her biological parents, the adopted daughter retaliated by accusing them of physical abuse. Shocked, hurt, and saddened by the accusation, Ajay and Peggy disinherited her and withdrew all financial support. Angry and fearful of deportation to her native country of Nepal, a lifestyle she no longer desired, the accusation escalated from physical abuse to that of sexual abuse.

Three months later, the adopted daughter wrote a letter to rescind her accusations, but later that same year while visiting Nepal, she was arrested and convicted for passport fraud and perjury. In order to get back into the U.S., she decided to re-open the case so that she could enter the country to testify. Within a few months of re-entering the U.S, she met a man on the internet and immediately married him.

We are asking you to help us by:
1.    Request an investigation into Ajay Dev’s case. (Yolo County Case #062444)
2.    Requesting an investigation into the charging policies of the Yolo County District Attorney’s office. There is a pattern of stacking up counts for minority defendants compared to similar cases with white defendants. Stacking up charges tends to secure more convictions—more grant money.
3.    Stop grants that reward money based on increasing arrests and convictions.

We are angry that someone can make false allegations against a U.S. citizen in order to gain access to our country and that our tax dollars are being used in such a way that encourages district attorneys to seek convictions over the truth. Please act and be a positive force for change.

For more information, please read the overview about Ajay Dev’s case at http://www.change.org/petitions/free-ajay-dev-a-victim-of-cash-for-convictions#signatures, visit www.advocatesforajay.com and/or email pr.advocatesforajay@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

 

Need Appointee to Yolo County Health Council

Written by Matt Rexroad on July 8th, 2011. Posted in General

Note: I am looking to appoint someone from Woodland to the Yolo County Health Council.

 

The Health Council is the liaison between the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and health
systems. It establishes and maintains the area-wide health planning and activities identifying
health goals and needs of Yolo County. It aims to develop and improve health services in the
county.  They met every second Thursday of the month from 8 to 10am; members are appointed
for a 4 year term.

If you are interested in serving please fill out the on-line application here.

What is wrong with this picture?

Written by Matt Rexroad on July 3rd, 2011. Posted in General

The “Made in China” tag is on the other side of my crutches.

Pollution makes big fish tales reality

Written by Matt Rexroad on July 3rd, 2011. Posted in General

Pollution makes big fish tales reality http://wapo.st/jjyBlL

Bikes for Wellness

Written by Matt Rexroad on June 30th, 2011. Posted in General

NAMI YoloCANVAS has recently received a grant to help provide Yolo County Mental Health adult consumers with bicycles. Consumers are asked to contribute $25 to receive a refurbished bike, a helmet and a bike lock.

We have a source of gently used bikes. We are looking for a volunteer or two in the Woodland area to tune the donated bikes. Sponsorship toward the purchase of three wheeler bikes is also needed.

If you are able to help, please email Marilyn at schwartz_mann@yahoo.com

Download Flier (PDF)