Snopes.com Plays Fast And Loose With Facts In Hillary Clinton’s 1975 Rapist Defense

hrcSnopes.com is purported to be one of the great fact-checking, rumor-dispelling non-partisan websites on the worldwide web.

Today I received a link to a Snopes report which was written by Kim LaCapria and published on August 13, 2016.  The report was written to rebut a rape victim’s recent claims about the tactics Hillary Rodham (Clinton) employed in order to defend her accused client, Thomas Taylor, in 1975.  The victim was 12 years old at the time of her rape.  Due to the trauma inflicted during the sexual assault the victim, Kathy Shelton, was unable to bear children.  Here is the “meme” Ms. LaCapria says she culled from Facebook.com:

clinton-rape-memeAdditionally a YouTube video recently circulated:

Ms. LaCapria’s conclusion as to the veracity of Kathy Shelton’s claims about Ms. Rodham’s (Clinton’s) handling of the case is as follows:

mostly false

WHAT’S TRUE: In 1975, young lawyer Hillary Rodham was appointed to represent a defendant charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. Clinton reluctantly took on the case, which ended with a plea bargain for the defendant, and later chuckled about some aspects of the case when discussing it years later.

WHAT’S FALSE: Hillary Clinton did not volunteer to be the defendant’s lawyer, she did not laugh about the case’s outcome, she did not assert that the complainant “made up the rape story,” she did not claim she knew the defendant to be guilty, and she did not “free” the defendant.

I examined the Court file, as it currently exists online at scribd.com.

Central to Kathy Shelton’s complaint against Ms. Rodham (Clinton) is an affidavit filed by Ms. Clinton in support of a court-ordered psychiatric examination of the victim.  Shelton alleges that Ms. Rodham (Clinton) essentially smeared Shelton’s character and represented her to the Court as an emotionally unstable, incredible complainant.  Here is the affidavit:

During my twenty-plus years of full-time work as a Colorado law enforcement officer I wrote more affidavits for searches and arrests than I can recall.  In a properly written affidavit each fact which the affiant asserts to be true should be sourced to a specific witness, or based upon the affiant’s personal observations (such as evidence observed at a crime scene or a victim’s injuries) – described in detail.

In examining Ms. Rodham’s (Clinton’s) affidavit she tells us under oath that she received information –

A)  “…that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing. 

B)  I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming that they had attacked her body.

C)  Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.

Nowhere does Ms. Rodham (Clinton) state who gave her any of that credibility-destroying information about the victim.  If Ms. Rodham (Clinton) in fact had real sources for the accusations, she should have named those sources in her affidavit.  In the alternative, if she had no such sources she could have just fabricated the information.  In other words she could very well have lied about Kathy Shelton’s character.  And there is no way to check the affidavit’s veracity, because Ms. Rodham (Clinton) provided no sources for the allegations.

There is one more accusatory item to examine in Ms. Rodham’s affidavit:

D)  I have also been told by an expert in child psychology that children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences and that adolescents with disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to such behavior.

Ms. Rodham (Clinton) once again gives us a brief report we are to accept as accurate and factual from an expert whom she does not name.  But what is most striking here is how anyone can imagine a 12 year old girl whose vagina, uterus and/or ovaries were so damaged by a violent rape that she could not ever have children would romanticize or exaggerate the “sexual experience.”

As a rookie detective, in 1981 I went through a one-week seminar in sex crimes and homicides, put on by the FBI Behavioral Sciences Section at the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy.  Among the many things I learned was this:

A  forcible rape is not a sexual experience.

Now let’s look at Ms. LaCapria’s analysis of Kathy Shelton’s principle complaint – the affidavit:

Documents from the 1975 case include an affidavit (p. 34) sworn by Clinton, from which the “in court, Hillary told the judge that I made up the rape story” portion of the claims was derived. That affidavit doesn’t show, as claimed, that Hillary Clinton asserted the defendant “made up the rape story because [she] enjoyed fantasizing about men”; rather, it shows that other people, including an expert in child psychology, had said that the complainant was “emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing about persons, claiming they had attacked her body,” and that “children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences.” Clinton therefore asked the court to have the complainant undergo a psychiatric exam (at the defense’s expense) to determine the validity of that information:

In summation, Snopes.com tells us that Kathy Shelton’s chief complaint, that Ms. Rodham (Clinton) smeared Shelton’s reputation in the Court of record with false accusations about Shelton’s character and credibility, is not true.

To substantiate her conclusion, Ms. LaCapria relies on the affidavit, which Ms. Rodham (Clinton) filed, that is replete with character-destroying allegations about the victim – and there are no sources for the allegations other than Ms. Rodham’s (Clinton’s) words within the document.

Additionally, according to the affidavit the unnamed child psychologist did not in any way contribute to allegations A, B, and C above.  Those statements came from persons unknown and unnamed – or quite possibly from Ms. Rodham’s fabrication.

We’re not finished yet.

Kathy Shelton asserts that Ms. Rodham (Clinton) knew that her client was guilty and laughed about it in a 1980 interview.  In rebuttal to that accusation Ms. LaCapria gives us this:

As for the claim that Hillary Clinton “knew the defendant was guilty,” she couldn’t possibly have known that unless she were present when the incident in question occurred. It’s also largely irrelevant given that under Hillary Clinton’s handling of the case, the defendant pled guilty rather than going to trial and asserting his innocence.

That is among the most vacuous thoughts I have ever encountered.  And it is patently untrue.

In addition to my 20 years in full-time law enforcement I worked for nearly two years thereafter as a defense investigator with the Colorado State Public defender’s Office.  Many defendants confess guilt to their attorneys.  If the attorney doesn’t know the truth about what happened from his client he cannot adequately represent his client.

For instance, I sat in on an interview in a murder case wherein our client told his attorney and me that he in fact committed the crime of which he was accused.  Defense attorneys are just as adept, if not more so, than prosecutors are at analyzing the strength of the evidence against their clients.

Watch this video:

“He took a lie detector test.  I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” [Laughter]

If that is not an admission that Ms. Rodham (Clinton) knew that her client was guilty, then I don’t know what is.  And yes.  She laughed.

Lastly, Ms. LaCapria denies that Ms. Rodham “freed” Thomas Taylor with the plea deal.

Finally, Hillary didn’t “free” the defendant in the case. Instead, the prosecuting attorney agreed to a plea deal involving a lesser charge that carried a five-year sentence, of which the judge suspended four years and allowed two months credit of time already served towards the remaining year:

When one considers that Mr. Taylor could have spent the rest of his life in prison, I think it’s fair to say that Ms. Rodham (Clinton) set him free.  He actually served a total of one year, which included his two months’ pre-trial incarceration.

So much for the objective fact-finding of Snopes.com.

About John L. Work

John Lloyd Work has taken the detective thriller genre and woven an occasional political thread throughout his books, morphing what was once considered an arena reserved for pure fiction into believable, terrifying, futuristic, true-to-life “faction”. He traveled the uniformed patrolman’s path, answering brutal domestic violence calls, high speed chases, homicides, suicides, armed robberies, breaking up bar fights, and the accompanying sporadic unpredictable moments of terror - which eventually come to all police officers, sometimes when least expected. He gradually absorbed the hard fact that the greatest danger a cop faces comes in the form of day-to-day encounters with emotionally disturbed, highly intoxicated people. Those experiences can wear a cop down, grinding on his own emotions and psyche. Prolonged exposure to the worst of people and people at their worst can soon make him believe that the world is a sewer. That police officer’s reality is a common thread throughout Work’s crime fiction books. Following his graduation from high school, Work studied music and became a professional performer, conductor and teacher. Life made a sudden, unexpected turn when, one afternoon in 1976, his cousin, who eventually became the Chief of the Ontario, California, Police Department, talked him into riding along during a patrol shift. The musician was hooked into becoming a police officer. After working for two years as a reserve officer in Southern California and in Boulder, Colorado, he joined the Longmont, Colorado Police Department. Work served there for seven years, investigating crimes as a patrolman, detective and patrol sergeant. In 1989 he joined the Adams County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office, where he soon learned that locking a criminal up inside a jail or prison does not put him out of business. As a sheriff’s detective he investigated hundreds of crimes, including eleven contract murder conspiracies which originated “inside the walls”. While serving on the Adams County North Metro Gang Task Force and as a member of the Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group (STING), Work designed a seminar on how a criminal’s mind formulates his victim selection strategy. Over a period of six years he taught that class in sheriff’s academies and colleges throughout Colorado. He saw the world of crime both inside the walls and out on the streets. His final experiences in the criminal law field were with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, where for nearly two years he investigated felonies from the defense side of the Courtroom. Twenty-two years of observing human nature at its worst, combined with watching some profound changes in America’s culture and political institutions, provided plenty of material for his first three books. A self-published author, he just finished writing his tenth thriller.
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3 Responses to Snopes.com Plays Fast And Loose With Facts In Hillary Clinton’s 1975 Rapist Defense

  1. Pingback: Outraged By Trump’s Language? Here’s A Sample Of Hillary Clinton’s Lexicon | Here's The Right Side Of It

  2. You forgot to mention that appox 97% of criminal cases in this country never go to court (even the 1970’s). Instead they are settled by a plea deal. You forgot to mention that In a 2008 interview the victim stated that her mother pushed for a quick plea deal and did not want her daughter to testify in open court (nor did the victim). You forgot to mention that getting a psychiatric exam was requested by Clinton which would not be out of the norm for a 12 year old rape victim but IT WAS THE JUDGE WHO APPROVED IT. While you put blame on Clinton why don’t put the same blame the prosecutor or the judge who also approved and excepted the plea deal. The biggest complaint we should be talking about is the judge since he basically took off 80% of the defendant’s sentence. But because this is about Hillary Clinton we have to take this case and add it to the spin cycle of the media michine against her, instead of just saying she did here job as a defense lawyer and did it well.

    • John L. Work says:

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I haven’t forgotten any point you’ve brought up here.

      The glaring issue in my essay, and in Kathy Shelton’s complaint, is Snopes.com’s handling of the unsourced affidavit Mrs. Clinton filed with the Court, which was filled with character-destroying allegations leveled against a 12 year old rape victim. Mrs. Clinton represented the allegations as facts. She did not include any sources for the allegations. And it’s worth remembering that she had just been fired from her job on the Watergate investigation – for lying, concealing documents and attempting to file a false brief.

      https://work949.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/preparing-hillary-for-2016-theres-a-long-history-of-lying-to-erase/

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