Holtzclaw, Harris, And The Dangers Of Trawling
Rolf Harris and Daniel Holtzclaw were both convicted of multiple sex offences. Why are so many people championing the pervert cop while ignoring the ageing entertainer?
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If you are not au fait with the Daniel Holtzclaw case, you can read a bit about it here. Holtzclaw was an Oklahoma City police officer who was convicted of eighteen sexual offences against vulnerable women up to and including rape. Rolf Harris was an A List entertainer with a track record of over half a century. Until the Jimmy Savile scandal erupted, no one had a bad word to say about him, but in 2014 he stood trial for and was convicted of 12 offences against underage girls and teenagers, including his own youthful mistress. Some of the allegations against him dated back over forty years. All the allegations against Holtzclaw were fairly recent and far more serious; Harris was not accused of rape or of anything close to it. The one thing the two men have in common is that bar the initial allegation, all the claims against them were generated by trawls. What does this mean?
When the police arrest someone for a serious or even a not so serious crime, they run that individual’s name and details through their databases to see if any similar crimes can be linked to him. This is good policing practice, and can at times net a very big fish. A good or rather a shocking example of this was the serial killer Harold Shipman. This Manchester doctor was arrested on suspicion of forging the will of one of his elderly patients who had died suddenly. By the time the police had finished he was charged with her murder and the murders of fourteen others; a high profile public inquiry determined on credible evidence that he had murdered over two hundred people.
Thankfully, most police trawls do not yield such horrifying results, but some do lead to serious miscarriages of justice. These are when rather than following a trail of evidence the police in effect hang up a notice asking for information relating to a certain person or persons and invite people to make allegations against them. Even before the age of social media this would often result in all manner of false accusers coming forward with all manner of lurid stories. The late Richard Webster wrote at length about the dangers of trawling with particular reference to sexual offences allegedly committed in children’s homes. While a few of those convicted have been guilty, innocent people – women as well as men – have had their names dragged through the mud and in some cases been sentenced to many years in prison.
Today when YouTube alone has over a billion subscribers, this can result in madness. Check out some of the professionally crafted videos on the site that profess to document the crimes of Bill and Hillary Clinton, then ask yourself why if they had murdered so many people are they not both in gaol?
It is one thing to accuse a celebrity of murder, a claim that is usually easy to debunk, but how does anyone refute a claim that he or in rare cases she indecently assaulted someone ten, twenty or more years ago? Precisely!
The real case against Harris, if it can be called that, resulted from his relationship with a girl young enough to be his granddaughter – a recipe for disaster. This unnamed woman was a friend of his daughter Bindi, and had travelled the world with him. The affair came to light way back in the 1990s, and in 1997 Harris wrote a letter to her parents. He claimed their relationship started when she was 18; she would later claim it started when she was 13. She revealed it only when she found out Harris had a second mistress! If nothing else this gave her a motive to lie about him, but it gets even sillier. One of the charges against Harris was that he had indecently assaulted her when she was 19; this was clearly a charge that should never have been brought. If the trial had gone ahead with her and her alone, he would surely have been cleared, but the legal authorities went to extreme lengths to trawl accusers from literally around the globe. They did the same thing to former publicist Max Clifford, but with Cliff Richard they went too far.
Many of the allegations against Harris were from outside the UK, which meant he was not charged with them, they were made purely to blacken his character. Perhaps the sickest charge was one levelled against Max Clifford. Clifford’s daughter Louise suffers from a painful medical condition; in 1983 while they were on holiday in Spain, he is alleged to have used her as bait to lure a 12 year old girl into a Jacuzzi to commit an indecent act. Again, how does anyone defend himself against a charge of this nature thirty years after it didn’t happen? Clifford received an eight year sentence; he would later face another trial from a single accuser, but this time the jury didn’t buy it.
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Rolf Harris received a sentence of five years nine months. At his trial, apart from the so-called bad character witnesses and his one-time mistress, he faced three other accusers. One of these was shown clearly never to have met him because had he really performed at the Leybourne Park Community Centre at that time there would have been a significant paper trail. Instead, there was nothing. After the trial, his accuser waived her anonymity and claimed as had the prosecution at the trial that this phantom sexual assault had ruined her life. The reader is invited to compare this claim with the reactions of proven victims of horrendous sexual assaults such as Elizabeth Smart and the Cleveland Captives. Another of his accusers claimed he had sexually assaulted her in a public house in front of witnesses, a claim debunked by “Miss Marple”.
Not content with destroying a legendary entertainer, the legal authorities brought forward another gaggle of demented women for a second trial. Harris was cleared of three charges but the jury was unable to come to verdicts on the other four. Unbelievably a retrial was ordered, and yet another charge was added. This is due to start in May.
The Holtzclaw case is very different. Although some legitimate criticisms have been made of the police methodology, there is no doubt this guy is a serial predator of the worst kind, and needs to be kept behind bars for a very long time. Holtzclaw’s downfall was Jannie Ligons who was stopped in her car in the small hours of June 18, 2014. He was off-duty and on his way home in his vehicle when he pulled her over, sat her in the back seat then forced her to fellate him. Like most genuine sexual assault victims, Ligons reported the assault reasonably promptly, although in a case like this one should allow for a certain delay due to understandable shock.
How credible was Ligons deemed? The bottom line is that she was a grandmother, driving her own car, and if not a woman of standing then the kind of woman most people would trust. Had she been in her twenties with or without any sort of criminal record, she would have been far less credible.
The specious narrative of the sexual grievance industry including organisations like Women Against Rape is that the majority of rape victims don’t report because they are afraid they will not be believed. Strangely, false accusers never seem to suffer from that problem. This claim is not a total myth though, genuinely vulnerable women may not report, often this means women who are raped when they are doing things they should not be doing.
Police officers the world over are routinely falsely accused, usually of excessive force, dishonesty or just plain rudeness, but on occasion they are also falsely accused of sexual offences. Sometimes though such allegations are true; although Colin Flaherty may be in denial, the American police use excessive force almost as a matter of routine, and in a country where with the exception of Nevada prostitution is illegal, and where drug use among the “lower classes” is rampant, there are plenty of women who lack credibility and are therefore fair game for corrupt police officers. Furthermore, men like Holtzclaw realise these women are fair game. He may have been prolific, but he was by no means exceptional.
In 1985, Oklahoma City detective John Lane was charged with forcing a woman to perform oral sex on him in an interrogation room. Although eventually the case was dropped, he was sacked.
In January 1987, another Oklahoma police officer was accused of rape by a prostitute. Through his attorney, James Gibbs admitted having sex with the woman, but because she told so many needless lies, she destroyed what little credibility women like her have. Although the case against Gibbs was dismissed, he retired shortly.
On the other side of the country, Charles Hoeffer broke his ex-wife’s nose, a crime that for lesser mortals would have led to criminal charges, but he was simply forced to resign from the Delray Beach Police Department. He joined Riviera Beach Police, and in 1996 he was fired after an incident with a drunken woman. Hoeffer checked her into a hotel where she claimed to have been raped. Forensics ruled him out, but his behaviour was considered to be inappropriate. What are police officers supposed to do with drunken women? After being reinstated, he applied for a job with another police department, and in 2013 and 2014 was accused of sexually assaulting one woman and raping another, the latter on two different occasions. How unlucky is that?
One more will suffice. Abraham Joseph was a sexual predator in uniform who targeted vulnerable women. In October 2012, a Houston jury put him away for life; his conviction was upheld on appeal.
So clearly when Holtzclaw was investigated, the officers concerned did nothing inappropriate by tracking all the women with whom he had come into contact and questioning them, indeed they would have been negligent if they had not. Because Ligons is black while Holtzclaw is not, and because the news was sure to leak out, the race hustlers decided to make a big thing of it. One of their claims was that the case was not being publicised, and of course there could be only one reason for this. Well, no, there was a bona fide reason too. If not the actual investigators then people higher up the food chain would have realised any overt publicity could lead to false allegations, which would muddy the waters, and indeed they did materialise. Shaneice Barksdale is the only false accuser who has been named, but there were six others, including a man!
By contrast, press coverage in the UK prior to the trial of Rolf Harris was scandalous; one of his accusers sold her lie-ridden story in Australia, and of course that received heavy coverage by the British press. There was also at least one planted or totally manufactured story about child pornography being found in his home by a plumber in the 1970s. It remains to be seen if this plumber actually existed, certainly the magazines did not. Had the legal authorities in Oklahoma City not kept a lid on the case, there could have been dozens of women come forward to falsely accuse Holtzclaw, and because of their recency they might well have been discredited, which could have duped the jury into believing the case was nothing more than a witch-hunt. This is indeed what his supporters would have us believe.
The dynamic Diana Davison has fallen for the Holtzclaw is innocent mantra, but his highest profile defender is Michelle Malkin, who has been known to ruffle the feathers of social justice warriors on occasion; she has not only made a documentary about the case but has addressed public meetings. Her arguments sound persuasive, but she is way off-beam. To begin with, Ligons was not the first woman to have filed a complaint of this nature. When detectives Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory began their investigation they already knew about this, although it does not appear to have been followed up in earnest at the time.
Malkin has highlighted inconsistencies in the Ligons testimony, but mere inconsistencies will not lead to an acquittal. In particular, the description she gave of Holtzclaw did not match him, but there is no doubt that it was him who stopped her, Holtzclaw admits it. Others, including Holtzclaw himself, have attempted to blacken her character; in a phone call from prison he said or rather implied that because she had some sort of run-in with the police back in the 1980s she had no credibility. Seriously dude? He did not make any such claim in court because his attorneys would not dare put him on the stand, even to demonstrate the impossibility of his forcing a woman to fellate him while wearing compression underwear.
Ironically, if one of the claims made about Ligons is true, it bolsters her credibility, namely that she had in her possession a large quantity of illegal prescription drugs. What should Holtzclaw have done had that been the case? Arrest her, or at the very least seize them and hand them in next time he reported for work. So why didn’t he? Because that was his modus operandi; he stops a woman, a drug addict perhaps, finds her in possession of marijuana or something more serious, and tells her you’re going to gaol unless...Being the kind of women they are, they complied. This is not simply corruption, it is rape: the illicit carnal knowledge of a woman effected by force, intimidation, threats, or deceit as to the nature of the act. In particular a threat of immediate arrest, even if said arrest would in fact be legal. If anything, this compounds the felony.
Holtzclaw does not appear to have told Ligons the drugs in her car were illegal and that she was facing arrest. Had he done so before opening his fly, it is quite likely she would have realised what was required of her and not filed a report. Although it should have been obvious to Holtzclaw that he was not dealing with a ho’, she wasn’t savvy enough to know what was in his mind, all she saw was a man with a badge who could shoot and kill her with impunity. A black woman of her age would have remembered graphically the Rodney King case and its outcome, and in this age of social media, a basic search on YouTube will reveal many sickening cases of American police officers killing innocent men with impunity – white ones as well as black - and on occasion both women and young boys.
Last year, an Oklahoma website published a detailed account of this case: HUNTING HOLTZCLAW. There is also hundreds of hours of related footage on YouTube and other video sites. Poring over these and applying common sense will convince any reasonable person that the conviction of Daniel Holtzclaw was sound. The same approach to the cases of Rolf Harris, Max Clifford, and even Gary Glitter will likewise convince any reasonable person that what has been happening in English courtrooms for the past four years, indeed since the 1990s, has been anything but justice where police trawls are used to convict the innocent of imaginary crimes.