A Subpoena, A Plea and Justice
The plea came in the middle of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault.
Last year I wrote a column about Keith after he sent me a letter. It began:
Keith has been in jail since April 22, (of last year) charged with raping his common-law stepdaughter. He recently contacted me by letter.Yesterday, he and his lawyer agreed to a deal that will see him released from prison after serving a little more than a year in jail. He will be eligible for parole July 18. After that he will be on probation. He will also be listed as a sexual offender on Megan's List.
“When the average citizen reads your paper that someone has been accused of a sexual offense, innocent until proven guilty goes out the window. They believe that there surely must be some evidence, but in many cases, such as mine, there is none.
“In Delaware County, a teenager can say you touched her last year and you will be arrested, regardless if there are any inconsistencies in their statement, no medical evidence, or witnesses — just because you put them on punishment or refused to let them go to a party.”
The letter went on:
“After you’ve sat in jail for a year waiting to go to trial, then you’re found innocent, who gives (you) your life back?”
Because of what I wrote in my column, concerning what Beaver told me while he was in jail, I was subpoenaed by the Delaware County DAs office as a possible witness against him in the case.
What I reported was that I offered to set up a polygraph test for him and that he agreed to take it, then reneged. The results of a polygraph test are not admissible in a court. But his agreeing to take one and then reneging led me to believe he had not been completely honest with me about what had occured between him and this 15-year-old girl.
How any of that would have been admissible at his trial was beyond me. I tried and failed to get the subpoena quashed.
It was the testimony of the victim that led both the prosecution and the defense to agree to a plea bargain. The girl is intellectually challenged and emotional fragile but was convincing enough on the witness stand to cause Beaver and his lawyer to be concerned that a jury might find him guilty.
The plea allowed the girl not to have to endure a rough and rigorous cross examination, Beaver to get out of jail soon, and me to be excused from having to testify.
Was justice served? You tell me.