SEXUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD
Case No. 1293490 – Samuel O.
Sam had been associated with an SOB as a prospective hiring manager. Initially, he got crossways with club owners over his refusal to do anything illegal. Later, upon realizing that many illegal things were nevertheless occurring he decided to sever all ties with the owners and parted ways with them. Shortly after learning the club had been raided he was pulled over on a felony warrant and was shocked to learn the type of crime he was accused of – Sexual Performance by a Child. A tip had led to an initial investigation of the club by the Vice Division of HPD which then led to three arrests in a raid during which charges on one arrestee [the Complainant in the subject case] were dropped in exchange for giving up information implicating Sam in the hiring of minors to work as dancers and in creating for them fraudulent ID’s.
A difficult aspect of the case was that club owners produced paperwork for police showing altered dates allegedly initialed by Sam. Moreover, it was alleged that Sam handed out these coveted jobs in exchange for immoral performances. We proved beyond reasonable doubt motives of self-protection for the Complainant who had several warrants out but who was not arrested in exchange for talking. There were also motives of vengeance on the part of club owners who were upset from the beginning at Sam’s stance on legalities; testimony from former business associates as to Sam’s probity in business matters was also used in this regard. But the Complainant gave a recorded statement of Sam’s involvement in her hiring and in the altering of her ID and then picked him out of a lineup. The first prong in our very successful defense was that, although Sam had been given business cards and had been introduced to some prospective employees, he had never received a paycheck and had never gotten his license to operate this type of business and thus – legally – he had never hired anyone. We next proved through recorded conversations between Sam and an adverse witness [a State’s witness] that this witness lied to police when she told them Sam knew the Complainant was underage – whereas in fact he did not know this; the Complainant herself also lied to police to protect those who had hired her illegally. We were unable to obtain a Grand Jury No Bill in this case but continued to aggressively fight for a Dismissal post-Indictment. Prior to setting it for Trial we prevailed by sufficiently proving the State’s failure to prove the statutory elements of the crime alleged beyond a reasonable doubt.