After two long weeks of pornography — albeit audio as opposed to visual — the evidence was in and the defendant, an aspiring rap star from San Bernardino, was found guilty of lewd and lascivious crimes against a minor.
“I don’t think 15-year-old girls still call it a pee-pee anymore," began defense attorney Jan Cole-Wilson.
The speaker was the lad's defense attorney, Jan Cole-Wilson.
The victim and alleged girlfriend was a 15-year-old Point Arena girl.
Cole-Wilson continued. "As for oral copulation, we’ve had President Clinton discussing it on TV long before this little girl was even born. And if any of you have listened to rap music, like most 15-year-olds have, you know it’s not unusual, or foreign and, frankly, these girls not only call their vagina a pussy, they refer to themselves — their gender collectively, despite the progressive achievements of the feminist movement — by the same terminology.”
Thus commenced a deluge of cringe-worthy vulgarity unlike any ever heard in a Mendocino County courtroom.
Cole-Wilson asked the jurors if they ever listened to rap music, and when they answered in vagaries, the hip-to-the-hop defense attorney rattled off the names of the more prominent rappers, quoting obscene verses from award-winning songs that have sold millions — all of it ordinarily unprintable except in a courtroom where the defense alleges this sorry doggerel is routine listening for 15-year-old girls.
“We don’t know what this girl and her friends had to say about this ‘rap star’ coming to see her, but we can imagine they were pretty excited,” Cole-Wilson declared, and I wondered if we truly had entered the end of days.
The “different culture” Mr. Love derived from, the jurors were given to understand, though it may seem brutally sexist and utterly vile in its celebration of depravity, had to be not only accepted, but is protected under the First Amendment as a legitimate art form, and even a contemporary expression of, well, golly-darn, modern love.
Twenty years from now “Suck my dick, ho” might be considered a quaint endearment, as emblematic of early millennial America as "moonlight becomes you” was a musical expression of affection back in '55.
Ms. Cole-Wilson was clearly having a hard time defending the foul-mouthed charmer. “Thess” Love was obviously an adroit manipulator of what might be called white guilt which, in Mendocino County, is pretty much confined to the westside of Ukiah where many of the County's most precious liberals live, none of whom, unfortunately for Thess, sat on his jury. Each time Thess dropped an F-bomb or the N-word, he looked shyly up at the jury to see how he was doing.
But after two days on the stand Love's act had run out of charm — actually, he’d run out after the first day — the jurors weren’t buying it and he knew it — so he made a break for it on Tuesday after court, and got away (see below), dashing out of the courtroom and out onto State Street, lead-footed bailiff's left far behind. Thess spent the night on the Ukiah streets, somehow eluding the dragnet the cops mounted, and wasn’t recaptured until an alert bailiff, Deputy James Scroggins, on his way to unlock the Courthouse next morning, spotted Love standing in plain view by Walgreen’s on the corner of Perkins and Hospital Avenue.
Sheriff Tom Allman himself welcomed Love back to the County Jail with a breakfast sandwich, and promptly delivered the defendant back to court in plenty of time to retake the stand for a gentle but devastating cross-examination by prosecutor Shannon Cox.
Too tired to keep up his aw shucks act, the mask fell away and presto-magico there stood a cold, hard man, a calculating predator and would-be pimp.
The jurors now got a lesson in the repulsive world of Catphishing, all about how child molesters pose under assumed identities to troll the internet for young girls, to bait them out and meet them somewhere for sex, and even to capture them and put them on the street as prostitutes.
Love had been Catphishing disguised as a girl called Nyomi Orozoco, aka Nyomi On Fire, when he hooked the 15-year-old Point Arena girl whose mother is a single parent working the night shift, and whose father was living out of state. The exasperated Mom had threatened her wayward daughter with Dad. "Wanna go live with your father and all his rules?" When Mom found out what was going on with her little virgin on the internet, Dad became more than just an idle threat. But it was too late. The kid was already in over her head with a predator.
“Yeah, I’m a guy, so show me them titties, bitch, and send me a ass shot!”
What girl could possibly resist the Byron of San Berdoo?
Mom promptly confiscated her daughter's smart phone. But the kid still had an iPad, and she was in Love. Thess was coming to Point Arena to carry her way. They would elope.
The predator bought bus tickets for himself and his catch, and was soon in town to reel in his love-struck prey.
Claiming to be his victim’s step-brother, Love went to the high school and asked someone to give his teen bride an envelope with a cellphone in it. They were now all set to meet at the basketball court at three in the morning, but Mom, on high alert for days, figured out what was up and called the sheriff, and it was a cop who met lover boy, not his fog belt fawn.
Deputy Martin had a chat with the girl, gave her a lecture on what was in store for her — a life of prostitution in San Bernardino County, walking the stark, hot streets of Bakersfield, as Buck Owens used to say.
The Defense complained that the cop giving the kid a talking-to, lecturing her like a Dutch uncle was outtaline. There was no proof to support the charges in Count Three, Human Trafficking, attempting to induce a minor to engage in commercial sex.
During a lull, with the jury out of the room, Love was at it again, trying to pull the poor-boy charm on his lawyer, but she was out of patience with him and asked him to shut up.
“You haven’t listened to a single thing I’ve said, and now you are in so deep there’s hardly anything I can do to save you from even the weakest charges they have against you. So, please be quiet for a minute, and let me think how best to salvage this mess.”
Thess didn’t like that. He muttered obscenities at his sorely tried lawyer.
“All rise. The Superior Court of California, in and for the County of Mendocino, is now in session, The Honorable Ann Moorman presiding, please be seated and come to order.”
Rap Star Love didn’t move.
After his previous day's escape, Love was in shackles, a little sleepy, maybe, and sullen.
Then the jurors filed in.
Nor did Thessalonian Love (his legal name) bestir himself for a bunch of white-ass honky-honks about to send him off to prison.
There had been some speculation about whether the defense could call a mistrial because the sensational reports on the news of Love's overnight escape must have reached the jury’s ears, but which became moot when the judge granted a stipulation that the defendant had indeed made a break for it, and an instruction on the implications of flight would be added to their instructions before the jury was packed off to deliberate.
As the Hon. Moorman was leaving Keith Faulder’s victory party Tuesday, and as Her Honor’s plucky defendant was still at large, dashing about the very neighborhood we were disrupting on that memorable summer eventide with our victorious electoral revels, I asked Her Honor for a comment on this, the latest development in an already sensational case.
“You must promise me you won’t print it until after the trial is over and the verdict is in.”
“Very well. I swear, I won’t.”
“Humm. Okay, here goes: ‘The defendant in this case chose to absent himself from these proceedings… That’s, uhmm… unfortunate.”
Wow! If her honor's bold statement somehow leaked, well, gosh!
The touchy point in the Thessalonian Love case was a letter the sheriff had intercepted at the jail. It constituted Count Four, trying to dissuade a witness. This was an awesome document, a total about-face, going from pre-arrest “bitch,” “ho,” “slut,” to “Baby, come on, you know I love you....
Thess will be locked up a long time — if he doesn’t escape again — and he’ll have plenty of time to write rap songs about real gangstas now.
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(District Attorney Press Release) Ukiah, Fri., June 10. — A jury returned from its deliberations this afternoon with guilty verdicts against Thessalonian Catrell Love, age 25 of Apple Valley. Love was convicted of communicating with a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd and lascivious acts, arranging to meet a minor for the purpose of lewd and lascivious acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and attempting to dissuade the victim by threat from cooperating with law enforcement and providing testimony, all felonies. To their surprise, the jury was then asked to decide the truth of two allegations -- whether Love had previously suffered a prior Strike conviction and/or a violent felony conviction for arson in 2010 in San Bernardino County. After the applicable evidence was presented, the jury returned to the jury room for additional deliberations and, in short order, returned with findings that the sentencing enhancements were true.
Normally, the defendant's matter would have been referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a social study of the defendant and for a sentencing recommendation. However, Love was arraigned on a new charge of felony escape. A preliminary hearing for the escape case was set for June 23rd. The referral to Adult Probation on the guilty verdicts will trail the proceedings in the new case.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox. The law enforcement agencies who conducted the investigation against the defendant were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman presided over the ten-day trial.
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San Bernardino Man Arrested In Point Arena On Suspicion Of Committing Sexual Offenses With A Minor Escapes Custody At Courthouse
(Original Sheriff’s Press Release upon arrest last fall) — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested a San Bernardino County man last Friday on suspicion that he was trying to engage in sexual related activities with an underage Point Arena girl. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the girl’s Point Arena home at 9:25 p.m. Oct. 29 after one of her parents suspected something suspicious was going on. During its investigations, the Sheriff’s Office suspected that Thessalonian Catrell Love, 25, of Apple Valley, had established contact with the underage girl via a “social networking Internet website” in which he allegedly obtained nude photographs of the 15 year old, and also allegedly sent her sexually related messages despite being aware she was underage, according to the MCSO report. Love was suspected by the MCSO of travelling to Point Arena to meet with the girl on Oct. 29, with Love reportedly intending to leave the area with her. At 1:14 a.m. Oct. 30, deputies found Love walking along Port Road in Point Arena where he was allegedly found to be in possession of bus tickets to Southern California which the Sheriff’s Office stated supported the belief he was attempting to convince the girl to leave the area with him. Love was then arrested on suspicion of distribution of lewd material, intent to commit a lewd act with a minor, contacting a minor for a sexual offense, child pornography, and annoy or molest of a minor. Love was also found to be on active probation out of San Bernardino County on suspicion of an arson related offense, according to the MCSO. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail under $200,000 bail.
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(AVA Daily Notice from June 9) About 4 pm Tuesday afternoon, June 7, 2016, Love bolted from the County Courthouse after testifying at his trial. A search immediately commenced. As we post tonight, no word if Love has been taken into custody. He was last seen running south on School Street.
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Sheriff’s Department Looking For Escapee
MendocinoSportsPlus first received word of a foot pursuit in Ukiah @ 4:42 pm, then received this: "This is a notification from Mendocino County Mass Notification System: Escaped inmate from Ukiah Courthouse in Ukiah CA subject is a black male adult last seen running from courthouse approximately 4:25pm June 7th. last seen wearing tan pants, black shirt, knee brace that is not visible, not handcuffed, with 2 inch dreadlocks; if subject is observed contact your local law enforcement by calling 911. thank you. If you have any questions or if you received this notification in error, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086."
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Bruce McEwen Reports (Friday, June 10): On my way from the County Seat Bureau Offices (CSBO) of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Main Street, Ukiah, to judge candidate Keith Faulder's election night bash, a funny thing happened a ham, in fact, would say, like, dude, a funny thing happened on my way. The Cops were everywhere, in combat gear. Here I am in a waiter's jacket and a necktie, w/ my I VOTED sticker plastered over my Faulder button.
The Patrol Sergeant says, “Where's the party, McEwen?”
“Faulder's Offices -- you coming?”
“We've got a fugitive.” The Sergeant nodded in the direction of four officers in combat gear trying to keep up with a police dog on the trail. Turns out it's the guy from the cho-mo case in Judge Moorman's courtroom. I have refused to cover this case. The testimony is unprintable, and the object lesson of going through all this filth is, supposedly, to alert the community to a problem. eh? As the Faulder election party went on, Sheriff Allman (a Faulder endorser) came in. Try as I might to button-hole him, he was always engaged with dignitaries… Wait, there's a call coming in, maybe they caught the police dog!