Thursday, September 1, 2011
|Sean K. Dodgson|
Former Plymouth selectman tells his story
PLYMOUTH - The state supreme court has thrown out some of the convictions against a former Plymouth selectman who tried to arrange a sexual encounter with what he thought were two 13-year-old girls.
A jury in Plymouth County Superior Court in Sept. 2007 convicted Sean K. Dodgson, 51, on several charges including enticing a child, disseminating obscene matter and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to a minor. He was sentenced to three to five years in prison.
The Supreme Judicial Court in a ruling issued Thursday upheld the child enticement and dissemination of obscene matter convictions and threw out the convictions on three counts of attempted dissemination of matter harmful to a child.
The high court ruled that when Dodgson committed the crimes – in June 2006 – state law did not include online messages in its definition of what could constitute obscene “matter.” In a 2010 case, the court ruled that online electronically transmitted messages are not “matter” as defined by state law.
The Legislature changed the law in April 2010, adding online messages to the definition of matter.
Dodgson was caught up in a Plymouth County Internet sting in 2006 dubbed Operation Trenchcoat. He resigned as a Plymouth selectman rather than face a recall election. The “girls” who Dodgson corresponded with by computer were police officers.
The jury in the case acquitted Dodgson of four counts of attempting to commit a crime.
- Of course they did, he's one of the "Big Boys," and if this were you or I, this would not have occurred.
Dodgson was the only person arrested in Operation Trenchcoat to be tried by a jury. Others pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probation or two years or less behind bars.
Location: Plymouth, MA, USA
UK - Racehorse trainer (Vicky Haigh) coached her daughter to falsely claim her dad was a paedophile, High Court rules
By Tom Parry
A girl of seven at the centre of a custody battle was coached by her mum to make fake claims that her father was a paedophile.
Former jockey Victoria Haigh, 41, also launched a public campaign against her wholly innocent ex-partner [name withheld], a senior High Court judge said yesterday.
After a series of private hearings, Sir Nicholas Wall decided to make his judgment public yesterday because “scandalous allegations” were put in the public domain “via email and the internet”.
Sir Nicholas said two judges at previous High Court hearings both found that Mr [name withheld], 41, was not a paedophile and had not sexually abused his daughter.
He added: “The first judge found that allegations of sexual abuse made against the father of a young child were not just untrue but manufactured by the child’s mother, who then caused her daughter to repeat them."
“Because the mother was wholly incapable of fostering a relationship between her daughter and the child’s father, refused to accept the judge’s findings and continued to assert that the father was a paedophile, a second judge found that her mother had caused the child significant harm.” The girl now lived with her father, of Doncaster, South Yorks, and was subject to a care plan organised by the local council, the court heard.
The judge ruled Ms Haigh, Mr [name withheld] and the local authority could be identified. But he said the child – referred to in court as X – should not be named. He said: “Allegations of sexual abuse were first made by the mother and not by X. These were false and the mother knew them to be false. X was coached by the mother to make allegations of sexual abuse against the father."
“These proceedings have had a serious effect on the life of the father and have threatened the stability of the child."
“Her mother’s actions are wholly contrary to her interests."
“The father is entitled to tell the world, and the world is entitled to know, that he is not a paedophile, that he has not sexually abused his daughter and that the allegations made against him are false.”
The court heard how Ms Haigh never had a “scintilla of evidence” against her ex but enlisted the help of newspapers and MPs.
Ms Haigh, who is now a racehorse trainer, received support from Daily Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker, and Labour MP John Hemming even brought up the case in Parliament.
She was described as a “victim of a serious injustice” and claimed she had to flee to Ireland to give birth to her second child.
Meanwhile, the online smears against Mr [name withheld] continued.
By repeating the “untruth”, Sir Nicholas went on, she “attacked the good faith of all the professionals who had had any contact with the case”.
He ordered that Ms Haigh could not make any application in relation to her daughter without his permission for two years.
|Click the image to read the article|
Location: Washington, DC, USA