The severely warped Anaheim police officer who used his badge and fear to falsely imprison and sexually assault a series of undocumented female laborers has lost the appeal of his criminal convictions.
A California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana ruled this month that Bradley Stewart Wagner's cries of injustice were worthless.
Wagner, a veteran officer, first denied any sexual contact with the women. Later, he changed his story--repeatedly. In one version, he said the women he stopped for alleged traffic violations had aggressively sought sex with him and, being a noble fellow, he'd mostly resisted. Still later, he changed his plea to guilty in exchange for the dropping of serious charges and a relatively generous four-year prison term.
(It wasn't just that Wagner managed to delay justice in the case for more than half a decade. Incredibly, his constant whining, lies and maneuvers resulted in the reduction of his maximum prison exposure from life to 11 years.)
After signing the plea deal and guaranteeing that he wasn't coerced or on any drugs, Wagner sought to void it. He claimed that one of his defense lawyers, Jennifer Keller, misled him about the consequences of public sexual offender registration, a label he angrily doesn't want. He also claimed that he'd been extremely high on drugs in court when he signed his guilty plea. The move was an error because he is innocent, he now insists.
During an April hearing at the appellate court, Farah F. Azar, Wagner's latest lawyer, argued that the convictions must be overturned and a trial ordered because of Keller's poor legal representation, Superior Court Judge Walter P. Schwarm's sloppy rulings and her client's debilitating drug use.
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But after reviewing the case, a three-justice appellate panel headed by Justice Raymond J. Ikola rejected the drug excuse. They also determined that Judge Schwarm had acted reasonably, Keller's defense work was more than adequate and the prosecution's case had been solid.
The justices called Wagner's complaints "extremely tenuous . . . nitpicking."
Upshot: The 64-year-old scumbag, ex-cop will continue to live at the California Institution for Men at Chino.