The OC District Attorney's Office's Legal Deceit

[Moxley Confidential] More evidence proves prosecutor hoodwinked grand jury for indictments in bizarre Newport Beach blackmail case

The OC District Attorney's Office's Legal Deceit

A sad fact of life is that normally decent people occasionally commit horrific acts. It's an even worse scenario when people with government power transgress—say, when prosecutors in the Orange County district attorney's (OCDA) office try to put innocent citizens in prison. You would think this observation was hyperbolic gobbledygook if you hadn't been paying attention.

But faithful readers of the Weekly know, for example, the names James Ochoa, Joshua Moore, Shantae Molina and Arthur Carmona, regular people plucked from their regular lives by agents of our criminal-justice system, then tossed into a very real hell. Each was wrongly conviction of or charged with serious felonies because of knee-jerk acceptance of incompetent police work and callous indifference to exculpatory evidence.

In the Ochoa case, prosecutors dismissed as irrelevant the fact that DNA left at a Buena Park crime scene belonged to a different man who was, we later learned, the guilty, career criminal. With Moore, prosecutors asserted that his fondness of writing gangster-rap rhymes on his schoolwork morphed him into an armed robber; the Lakewood teen's only real crime was liking hip-hop and hanging out with black people. In the Molina case, a prosecutor allowed a deputy to brazenly lie under oath about key forensic evidence. In Carmona's case, witnesses to a robbery didn't finger the innocent youth as the perpetrator, but they changed their minds after Costa Mesa cops forced the 16-year-old to wear the Los Angeles Lakers cap left behind by the robber.

It's necessary to recount those travesties because local prosecutors are in the process of enshrining two more names in their embarrassing screwup list: Jim Toledano and Michael Roberts.

You may not care that Toledano, once chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, and Roberts, a onetime Corona del Mar fitness trainer and rare-cactus supplier for the county's ultra-wealthy, are charged in a Newport Beach extortion case involving impotence, adultery, love letters, betrayal, high society and a suitcase loaded with $350,000. Perhaps you can't empathize because you don't know these men, or because it's not you who's facing prison for crimes that you didn't commit. You might even assume that trial judges can be trusted to prevent miscarriages of justice, although they failed to do so in the previously mentioned cases.

I first wrote about the charges 187 weeks ago based largely on what was then available: the government's spin on events. Most commonly, that's the only side reporters hear before a trial. While later double-checking details, however, problems with the prosecution's blackmail case arose, including contradictory statements from the key witness, suspicious records, ignored exculpatory facts, nonsensical assumptions, a premature police sting and a gross manipulation of the grand jury process.

Rebecca Olivieri, the senior assistant district attorney prosecuting Toledano and Roberts, is part of a unit in the DA's office [3] that has a history of winning grand jury indictments by keeping relevant facts away from the all-citizen panel. That's not just my view; that's the view of three Republican-appointed state appellate justices.

In May 2011, justices David G. Sills, William F. Rylaarsdam and Eileen C. Moore dismissed Olivieri's felony perjury charge against Susan McGill, an assistant superintendent for the Capistrano Unified School District. The prosecution's stance was that it is legally entitled to block the grand jury from hearing, as the justices observed, "highly relevant testimony" that would undermine the case. [4]

The justices were not amused.

"[The DA's view] betrays an assumption that the purpose of the grand jury proceeding was to obtain an indictment against McGill instead of fairly sorting out whether there was probable cause to indict McGill for perjury," they declared in a stern, bombshell ruling. "In fact, [the DA's position] reveals an unstated 'ham sandwich' premise, namely that grand juries are and should be the rubber stamps of prosecutors. . . . [The grand jurors] were entitled to have the chance to consider [exculpatory evidence]." [5]

To emphasize their concern, the justices drove home the point to the OCDA: "Grand jury procedure must not revert back to the point where to be indicted is to be practically convicted. Our Legislature has provided protections against that sort of thing. Those protections were not, however, followed [against McGill]."

The justices didn't know at the time of the McGill ruling that Olivieri had a year earlier tricked a different grand jury to win all the charges she wanted against Toledano and Roberts. [6]

(For details of the alleged crime, as well as my previous detailed criticism of the indictments, please see "The Michael Roberts-Jim Toledano Sting Stinks," June 23, 2011, and "Free Jim Toledano and Michael Roberts Now," Sept. 8, 2011.)

Two of my prior criticisms must be repeated here to appreciate newly discovered exculpatory evidence: Olivieri's key grand jury witness, lawyer Paul Roper, testified that Toledano and Roberts had no legitimate civil complaint against his ultra-wealthy clients, Dick and Priscilla Marconi, and thus their demand for a $350,000 out-of-court settlement was extortion. Never mind that Toledano stated in writing a clear basis of a potential lawsuit based on Priscilla's alleged harassment campaign that Roberts says cost him lucrative cactus sales with the county's upper crust.

You can't get a more biased witness: Roper isn't just the alleged extortion victims' private lawyer, but he's also their longtime business partner. Olivieri allowed the grand jury to hear only his side of a May 2008, Newport Beach law-office meeting with Toledano that is the basis of the charges.

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7 comments
lindatoo2010
lindatoo2010

Well Mr. Moxley I'm glad to see your eyes are now opened about our judicial system! While coming to your defense in a conversation about my imprisonment, I asked the person why they didn't contact you when I was being railroaded and then sentenced to 14 years and four months in prison on fabricated evidence made up by Huntington Beach Police officers and an Orange County Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson? My daughter who was also in on this debate looked across the table at me and said: I did mom. Looking confused,  because I thought Moxley was a bomb reporter who would look at things fairly. I asked her what Moxley said. She said he's a  S.O.B.  Anyone who knows my daughter knows this type of anger is never seen in her or expressed. This is when I knew that reporter Moxley must have chopped me up good to my daughter. Number one, that's an ignorant thing to do. Like most daughters she loves and cares very much for me, she was already inconsolable after hearing the judge give me a 14 year 4 month sentence. My daughter has never been away from me for any length of time so this sentence was not only devastating for me but for her also. I would have thought that a man as brilliant as you are would have shown some kind of concern or compassion for Stacy (my daughter). But you, like a lot of others didn't bother investigating my side of the story. The truth wasn't important to you, evidence we had that would have cleared me was never entered or allowed to be heard by the jury. My attorney was in on this conspiracy, and if you noticed I was incarcerated long enough for the Statue Of Limitations to run out. You see Mr. Moxley you already decided and made your mind up that I was guilty. I was released from prison after winning a partial appeal 5 ½ years later . You may think what was done to me was justified but Mr. Moxley you don't even know me. It does help me to know you are learning more and more about our corrupt courts and police agency's, after all how many times can Huntington Beach lose their helicopter? I told my daughter and the rest of the people that I was debating ,  I still think you are a great reporter and I will never miss any of your articles. After all everyone is entitled to make mistakes.

 

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

My wife crying outside just a few minutes ago reminded me of something Mr. Tony Rackauckas

Any ideas on who vandalized my wife's vehicle?

Why that white female  Long Beach  police officer threw her vehicle in front of my wife on our 15th wedding anniversary celebration day (with no siren on) ? 

Who was the Hispanic man stalking my wife around Orange County?

Inquiring minds want to know?



18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

It's been over a year since this Hispanic American asked this DA's office very publicly in front of the Garden Grove city council about this "false name and/or date of birth" Bernie Madoff bullshit that the Orange County superior court sent me as a term of probation. My $2000.00 attorney told me I was pleading guilty to traffic tickets type offenses. Was this a police officer that made the accusation? 

This Hispanic American also informed you that I was the victim of attempted murder on the Garden Grove freeway complete with a OC police vehicle that flees the scene immediately afterwards as I'm pointing the wrong direction on the freeway. 

I thought that this DA's office would have sprouted an interest by now.  

Whophantom
Whophantom

Alleged crimes are so stretched out that it's not about justice it's all about winning.

Dennis210
Dennis210

"The citizens have a right to protect themselves from the police". OCDA Tony Rackaukas on the John and Ken show (2011) after the Kelly Thomas police murder by cop. = Complete BS of course since he's PROTECTING the cops.

Dennis210
Dennis210

"The citizens have a right to protect themselves from the police". OCDA Tony Rackaukas on the John and Ken show (2011) after the Kelly Thomas police murder by cop. = Complete BS of course since he's PROTECTING the cops.

"Extortion with chips and a pickle". - Now that's funny.

 
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