Well, the sordid pageant of disgraced former Franklin County senator Norm McAllister’s legal battles continued on Friday, as Judge Martin A. Maley heard a second day of arguments concerning Mr. McAllister’s request to reverse his plea deal on sex crime charges. Mr. McAllister has said he was coerced by the defense team into accepting the plea deal, but testimony would seem to suggest that, after hearing the evidence against him, his son Heath first urged him to accept any plea deal that was offered, then changed his mind much later after the plea commitment had been made.
I had a prior obligation that prevented me from attending yesterday’s proceedings, but the St. Albans Messenger bravely provided an outstanding account of all that was said and heard. It bears reading for the graphic lesson it provides on the sheer brutality of this kind of sexual exploitation, as well as insight into the rationalizations Mr. McAllister adopted for his behavior.
That the good people of my county repeatedly sent the perpetrator to the legislature, even while all of this was going on, makes it that much more disturbing.
Unfortunately, a paywall prevents me from sharing the Messenger story, so I am linking to a Seven Days piece instead.
The fact that Mr. McAllister at first accepted, then sought to overturn his arguably generous plea deal, is further proof that he still has not fully accepted his wrongdoing.
Unlike the little girl whose case against McAllister was dropped when she came unravelled at the end of four hours of grilling on the stand, the victim in this case was not forced to testify.
On that occasion last June, Mr. McAllister was allowed to sit undisturbed in the gallery without having to say a word or meet the appraising gaze of the curious, as the most graphic aspects of that victim’s testimony were haltingly and painfully recounted, mortifying the young woman and rendering her easy prey for defense tactics.
This time, Mr. McAllister was forced to listen to a recording of his own filthy admissions of forced sexual conduct with the victim while the entire courtroom heard them as well.
According to the Messenger story, members of the public listened with downcast eyes, some weeping for the indignity that was so painful to hear. McAllister for his part just sat there, red in the face.
The defense has been given one week to submit closing arguments, and the prosecution, another week for response. After that, Judge Maley will render a decision as to whether or not Mr. McAllister’s plea deal will remain in effect.
Mr. McAllister and his son had better hope they lose this case because a full trial on the evidence holds not just the threat of further humiliation, but a possible sentence of up to life in prison.