Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brooklyn Park Day Care Shooting -- New Developments

I wrote last week about charges being brought against the suspect in the deadly Brooklyn Park day care shooting from early April.  Yesterday, news got out that the reason the suspect, Eddie Mosley, wasn't already in jail for the criminal sexual assault he had recently been charged with was because Wright County (MN) officials decided to simply send him a summons in the mail as opposed to issuing a warrant for his arrest.

As you'll recall from my initial breakdown of the events in question, it was the alleged sexual assault that caused Mosley and a friend to hop in a car and drive from St. Louis, MO to Brooklyn Park in search of the accuser.  Mosley's apparent intent was to murder his 15 year old accuser in an effort to make the charges go away after pleas to the girl's mother (Mosley's half-sister) to convince her daughter to rescind her accusation proved ineffective.

Wright County officials stated that they chose to issue the summons in lieu of the arrest warrant because of the distance between the accused and his accuser.  They felt that the 600 mile buffer, coupled with the fact that the alleged victim was in the care of her mother, provided sufficient protection for the girl.  A prosecutor for the county said that such actions are not uncommon.  This, my friends, is where he's wrong.

Summons are usually only used to notify suspects of charges in minor, non-violent crimes.  When the crime involves an element of violence, such as sexual assault, it is common practice to issue a warrant for the suspect's arrest and file an order for expedition if they live in another state.  This wasn't a traffic violation, shoplifting, or trespassing.  Mosley was accused of raping a 15 year old child.

The penalty for 1st degree sexual assault in Minnesota is not more than 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.  The sentencing guidelines suggest a minimum of 144 months in prison, which equals 12 years.  It doesn't take much effort to consider the fact that, facing a penalty as severe as this, a person may do drastic things in order to clear their name.  If someone is depraved and indifferent enough to allegedly commit such an awful crime in the first place, what's to stop them from trying to do something just as depraved and indifferent to cover it up?

I believe that the end result of this will be the dismissal of a number of Wright County (MN) officials, as well as a civil suit against the county for failing to take appropriate measures to protect the well-being of the community.  This isn't something that will go away quietly.  Three innocent people are dead because a dangerous criminal was allowed to come in to court on his own timetable and decided to make a detour on the way.

The worst part of this, in my eyes, is that this incident and the way it was subsequently handled may cause pause in people when considering reporting sexual assaults.  Under-reporting of such crimes is already a problem.  Now, add to the existing issue the fact that the accusers may have to worry about their life if the county they live in decided to simply send a summons to the accused informing him/her of their court date.  The handling of Mosley's sexual assault charge sets a terrible precedent for what is acceptable reactions by court personnel.  It is important that the responsible parties are dealt with swiftly in order to reassure future rape victims that they can safely bring forth their story without the threat of being retaliated against.

If you or a loved one have recently been charged with a crime or are the subject of a criminal investigation, contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney immediately.  A qualified, dedicated defense attorney can make sure that you do all the right things in your quest to clear your name, and can often help in avoiding charges altogether.  Call or email a Minnesota criminal defense attorney today.

As always, Minnesota Criminal Defense Blog is not intended to be construed as either legal advice or legal advertising, nor does visiting this website create an attorney/client relationship between the author and the reader.  If you are looking for legal advice, my suggestion is to stop surfing the internet for answers and speak with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

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