The letter below, delivered to the Judge by jury foreman, Bryan Wilson, was written at the request of other jurors, and provides the overall bestdocumented example of why Federal assistance, in the form of whistleblower protection is necessary
to address judicial abuse in family law courts, in allowing thugs disguised as attorneys and mental health "professionals" representing the best interests of children.
Shortly after Mr. Wilson hand delivered the letter to the judge, he received an emailed threat, from the Court appointed, mental health "professional," Lorita Whitaker
Please read the letter and see if it strikes a chord in your area.
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Bryan Wilson, Jury Foreperson
State of Georgia vs. Wendy Titelman
Dear Honorable Judge Bodiford and Mr. Pat Head:
My name is Bryan Wilson and I recently served as a juror on a trial, (April 23-27, 2001) in the Cobb County Superior Court of Georgia.
Several members of the jury have requested that I write a letter summarizing our thoughts and concerns pertaining to the case we heard; State of Georgia v. Wendy Titelman. To understand why this case even made it to trial was a question each of us had to ask while we were deliberating on Friday.
We were perplexed as to why our State would pursue such a case so diligently when there were obvious errors in the indictment and credible reports indicating sexual and emotional abuse to two small children and the prosecution of the mother who sought to protect them from harm's way.
We, the jury felt that the "State of Georgia" did in fact, neglect to protect these children and furthermore, did not have the children's bestinterests at heart. It appeared they wished to cover up blatant miss-steps by an agency (DFACS) that appears to have made several errors in judgment.
I would like to take an opportunity to summarize these areas of concern. I sincerely hope that action can be taken to correct these situations in thefuture. Not only will this save the State of Georgia the expense of prosecuting such flimsy cases, but will also serve to better protect theones who need it most, the CHILDREN of our State.
1. The "Indictment."
The indictment was very poorly written and poorly executed. The dates were inconsistent with the prosecution's effort to paint the mother as a "lawbreaker and flight risk." Based on the information we received, the dates listed in the indictment were within the legal limits spelled out in the final divorce decree's visitation schedule. It is incredible to believe that our court system would put a decent woman in jail for doing something completely legal during the indictment's window! Very poorly written indictment in our opinion.
2. The charge of "Fleeing Justice."
Based on the evidence presented, we, the jury, were unanimous in agreeing with and supporting Ms. Titelman in her beliefs that there was probable cause to protect her children. The evidence gave strong indication the children were being sexually molested by their father. Ms. Hakes, theAssistant Prosecutor, in her closing statements called Ms. Titelman a "zealot" like Timothy McVeigh for wanting to take the law into her own hands and protect her children. I believe the majority of us on the jury have children. It was also unanimous that had we felt there was reason to believe our children were being abused or neglected in any way, and when seeking help, found the state (who is supposed to protect our children) unwilling to review the evidence in an unbiased light, would have reacted in similar ways.
3. "Taking the law into her own hands."
We, the jury, saw Ms. Titelman as someone desperately trying to use the legal system in Georgia to its fullest extent to protect her children, but to no avail. Then, when discovering more evidence of abuse, was left with no choice but to apply to the State of Mississippi for help. Although Ms.Hakes painted Ms. Titelman as a manipulator and extremist, we felt that she was justified in using whatever means necessary to protect her children.
Ms. Hakes said over and over during her cross-examinations, "the State ofGeorgia knows best how to protect its children." We are not so sure after sitting on the jury and seeing first hand the types of "guardians" and "counselors" that the State of Georgia appoints to protect our most precious resources and future taxpayers. Dr. King admitted under oath, the children told her they were being abused.
Why then do the children remain in the custody of the accused when the State does not appear to have proved otherwise?
4. "Does Not Deserve Justice!"
We,the jury, were horrified when Ms. Hakes told us in her closing statements that Ms. Titelman didn't deserve justice.
What does that mean?
Doesn't everyone deserves justice and aren't we all innocent until proven guilty?
For the Assistant Prosecutor to openly say that a citizen doesn't deserve justice is an outrage and an insult to our justice system.
5. Court appointed zealots.
The court appointed Guardians and Counselors were not credible and did all they could not to disclose real findings or intentions. Ms. Woods defied a State of Mississippi court order (within 24 hours) to protect the children from their father until additional hearings could take place and certain evidence be reviewed.
Ms. King (a supposed expert) interrogated the children for two and one-half hours without taking any notes, or tapes, etc. She then appeared to try and cover up the disclosure of the sexual abuse to the court when asked indirect questioning.
Therefore, we found that there were several disclosures of sexual abuse but little evidence at all of recantations. Ms. Whitaker went so far as to say the children were "abducted!" This accusation further alienated the jury bydis playing such blatant bias against the mother, Ms. Titelman.
6. "Paid Expert Witnesses."
Ms. Hakes was very careful to point out numerous times that the defense had hired "expert" witnesses who were paid for their services. Where is this wrong? We all got paid for doing what we considered our civil duty.
Ms. Hakes gets paid, the state appointed guardians and counselors get paid, the judge and court employees get paid, so why did she feel this was such a big deal?
Ms. Hakes tried to make it a huge deal by claiming the defense had "hired guns."
The State's witnesses were pathetic in our opinion. They were poorly rehearsed, poorly accredited and overtly biased. At one point, Ms. King,when asked a direct question about the children confiding to her that they had been abused by their father, turns to the judge and says,
"I don't want to answer that, they may get mad at me."
Would the State really get "mad" if she told the truth under oath?
In conclusion, the jury collectively felt that the divorce of Wendy and Andy Titelman contained deep dividing issues. It was our wish that moreinformation could have been disclosed to assist our decision.
We all agreed that the children were in all likelihood being sexually abused by their father.
Also, the custody and well-being of these minor children should be a major concern to Cobb County.
A new group of unbiased experts needs to re-evaluate this case and bring closure regarding visitation that satisfies all parties if appropriate. It has been an honor to serve as the foreperson of this jury.
I feel that this jury has served justice, and that the state's mishandling of this case has cost the taxpayers of Cobb County, Georgia a lot of money.
From: Lorita Whitaker
Subject: Titelman case
As I am sure you are aware, I testified in the Titelman case on which you served as a juror. I deeply regret that you, the jury, have been innocently pulled into this case.
For your information, the Grand Jury heard all evidence last week on this case, including over 2 hours of testimony by Wendy Titelman.
They voted 19-0 in favor of Andy Titelman and found Wendy's prosecution to be "malicious." Had you the jury heard all the evidence, I am certain you would have had a more complete understanding of a very complex situation that has, in fact, developed over a period of years.
Please understand that we were forbidden to refer to any events prior to Aug. 4, 2000, the date of the final divorce decree.
Literally volumes of evidence was withheld from you because of the nature of the criminal case.
I hope that you are also aware that you are being quoted (including on internet sites) as stating that I have conspired to cover up sexual abuse and am incompetent. I do not blame you because I know the power of the individuals that are involved in this case.
However, these quotes have now come back to me from a number of sources in the community, including some of my patients that have inadvertently crossed paths with members of your jury.
I am now seeking legal advice concerning a possible lawsuit for slander.
You may want to consult a neutral attorney of your own choosing concerning the risk that all of you are placing upon yourselves.
I wish for all of you the best and that you will be able to move forward with your own private lives.
Lorita Whitaker, MSW
Ga. Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Fortunately, Ms. Whitaker additionally sent her email to an unintended, but infinitely curious, third party.
Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.