The legal, judicial priorities in the State of Maine continue to shock. Please note the following news story regarding the second conviction of Octavia Faustini for the crime of making a false allegation of sexual assault.
She has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, despite this being her second offense for the same crime (the first one earned her a $100.00 fine), and despite a criminal history that includes assaulting an officer, assault, criminal mischief and telephone harassment.
Especially relevant to this case is that her victim actually has a sexual assault conviction on his record, making him particularly vulnerable to the kind of false accusation being levied by Faustini.
The Judge in this case, Jeffrey Hjelm, is the same judge Vladek Filler had to face when he was first arrested and charged by corrupt prosecutor Mary Kellett. He ordered Filler held on $50,000 bail (despite his having no criminal record) and later refused to grant key defense motions that called out Kellett’s discovery violations and lack of probable cause.
Hjelm is also the same judge who suspended Amber Cummings’ entire jail sentence for murdering her husband in his sleep, and letting her proceed to inherit his massive fortune and get immediate full custody of their daughter.
Interestingly, Faustini’s defense attorney, Joseph Steinberger, requested that sentencing be delayed for a year to allow the false accuser to perform community service – in order to demonstrate to the court that she can be a “productive citizen.” He suggested she could volunteer, among other places, at New Hope for Women, an organization that, get this, offers help to female (only) abuse victims. A representative of New Hope for Woman was kind enough to offer testimony supporting the chronic false accuser.
Perhaps she would fit in quite well with their staff, and could offer pointers to the women for whom they provide services.
The Bangor Daily News, forsaking its civic responsibility, did not run a photograph of Faustini for the benefit of Maine citizens who might encounter her in the future.
The State of Maine continues to offer itself up as the poster child for the need for judicial reform and a Department of Justice investigation into the gender bias that permeates our criminal justice system.
Recent research indicates that men receive 63% longer sentences on average than women do for the same crimes, and that men are twice as likely to be jailed for the same crimes as women. This gender gap is about six times as large as the racial disparity.