Fast-forward six years, and we find a sitting judge regurgitating Haidl-rape-defense excuses. But the Gurel case isn’t the first time Johnson’s conduct has been questionable in recent domestic-violence cases. Consider:

•In an ongoing case against Jeffrey Patrick Haley—a man accused of repeatedly punching, kicking, strangling and pointing a loaded handgun at a girlfriend, Johnson has ridiculed the victim in open court, calling her “a dullard.”

•Convicted killer/robber/woman-beater Terrance Russell knew he faced California’s Three Strikes Law if he committed another crime but tried to strangle a woman with both hands in September 2007. Prosecutors wanted Russell, who pleaded guilty, to receive a 35-years-to-life sentence. But to “make sure that justice is done,” Johnson ignored the wishes of the frightened victim, reduced the two felony charges to misdemeanors and gave Russell just eight months in the local jail.

Leslie Agan
Reza Gurel
Reza Gurel

But for Gurel, if it’s good to have a semi-sympathetic judge, it’s even better to be handed a serious prosecutorial screw-up.

You might think that Deputy District Attorney Suzy M. Snyder, who has been a passionate courtroom advocate for rape victims, would have earned a pat on the back for putting Gurel in prison. However, Snyder’s boss, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, was incensed by her conduct. In fact, multiple law-enforcement sources tell me that she was escorted out of the OC DA’s offices and placed on administrative leave, a move that could end in her joining the ranks of the unemployed.

According to a DA’s-office document obtained by the Weekly, Rackauckas believes that Snyder had been having an affair with the man who was the lead detective handling Gurel’s case. Normally, nobody would care about sexual liaisons, but what upset Rackauckas was that he believed Snyder violated his office’s conduct guidelines by secretly engaging “in a sexual relationship with a testifying police witness,” according to a Sept. 25 letter the DA sent to Gurel’s defense lawyers, James Crawford and Leonard Klaif.

A self-described “regretful” Rackauckas stated in the letter that he doesn’t think the ethical breach undermines evidence pointing to Gurel’s guilt or his conviction. But the defense lawyers, who’ve already filed their intention to appeal the case, must be salivating about the prospects of presenting a prosecutorial-misconduct argument to the court of appeal.

So where does this leave Jane Doe?

“She’s understandably devastated and disheartened and continues to be terrified of the defendant,” according to Rackauckas.

Who can blame her? She’s now been screwed by the defendant, the judge, a prosecutor and the police.

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Wow now woman have to put up a fight in order to prove rape?  Why is that when putting up a fight might just cost them their lives what if putting up a fight only angers their attacker which in this case proably would have and then this women could have easily lost her life like many other women who proably put up a fight and now are either still missing or their families have found thier bodies... Not saying that women shouldn't fight back but if you are in a situation where fighing back can only make things worse wht is left but for you to try and put youself in another place at the time... Because while you are being violated at the time your life is worth more at the end of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!JUST SAYING   


It's taken over four years for the wider public to become aware of this judges ignorant remarks, and even then, the context of what he said is not communicated. This was a very problematic judge who probably protected brutalizers when he was an assistant D.A. and he never should have been considered for an appointment to the bench.


This Neanderthal judge needs to be removed from the bench immediately.  Probably thinks women cannot become pregnant during rape.

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