Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fmr. Franklin Co. DA on Trial for Fondling Young Boys During Drug Tests

Montgomery Advertiser

Trial opens in fondling case against former Franklin County DA

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- A witness testified that then-District Attorney John Pilati made him strip and fondled him during drug tests when he was a 17-year-old on probation for drug-related offenses.

But an attorney for the former Franklin County prosecutor told jurors in opening statements Monday that he expects evidence will show the claims are baseless and motivated out of revenge for Pilati being tough on illegal drugs and other crimes.

"People who used drugs were scared to come into his county, not because they were afraid of being fondled by him, but because Mr. Pilati ran an aggressive, law abiding, lawful, law enforcement agency," defense attorney Bruce Gardner of Huntsville said as the trial on federal misdemeanor charges began.

The trial before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Ott resumed Tuesday.

The prosecution witness, now 24, said he was afraid to tell anyone of the fondling by Pilati when he provided urine samples for drug tests at the Franklin County courthouse and at Pilati's home.

"I had no legal rights. I was doing whatever this man told me to do. He had all the power in our hometown. If he told you to do something and you didn't, he would call your probation officer and have you sent off," he said.

The TimesDaily, which reported the trial's opening day, did not identify the witness because of the newspaper's policy against naming people who may have been victims of sexual abuse.

Pilati, who was Franklin County district attorney from 1998 until his resignation in 2004 after pleading guilty in an unrelated federal case, is charged with five misdemeanor counts of depriving the civil rights of five males who were 17 to 20 years old and allegedly fondled sexually during body searches and drug tests.

"He used drug testing as an excuse to sexually abuse young men by fondling their genitals," said lead prosecutor Christine Dunn of the Justice Department's civil rights division in Washington, D.C.

When the prosecution witness was cross-examined by Gardner, the man admitted he was on juvenile probation for much of his life as a teenager and was on adult probation for DUI in 2002 when he alleged that Pilati asked him to come to his home for a drug test.

Pilati resigned as district attorney in 2004 after pleading guilty to lying to federal agents investigating possible public corruption in Franklin County. He was sentenced to six months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Hey son....come on by the house for a drug test later on tonight.


Unsuspecting victim follows orders and arrives at the DA's house....He immediately sensed something was amiss when he exposed himself to pee in a cup and the DA appeared with a wetsuit and some dish detergent.

There are some really sick bastards out there in positions of high power. Think about that next time you advocate for student drug testing and the like.

1 comment:

Alberonn said...

You're right about sick bastards in high places. I wish you weren't right, but you are.

A lot of these guys also tend to project themselves as morally superior. But when you look in their closets, a few skeletons usually fall out.