This is the transcript for a recent Girl Writes What video. You can watch that video here. We have been granted permission to publish it on A Voice For Men.
I’m just doing a quick video to update everyone on the goings on in Maine regarding assistant district attorney Mary Kellett.
For those of you who don’t know, she works in the DAs office in Bar Harbor, and her per capita prosecution rate for domestic violence and sex crimes sits at 40 times that of the general population of the US. She was brought to the attention of NCFM and AVFM by Vladek Filler, a man repeatedly prosecuted–or persecuted–by Kellett on essentially zero evidence, for spousal violence against his immigrant wife, Ligia.
A little about Ligia: she’s mentally unstable, has a criminal record, and has a history of violent abuse of her children–this is, in fact, why Vladek had filed for divorce in 2007. Arrested shortly thereafter while wandering half-dressed, drunk and ranting in the street, Ligia was recorded by one of the arresting officers threatening to kill her husband, and to kill the officers themselves, claiming she would dismember their bodies and “disappear” them, with the assistance of her relatives.
It was at this point that the Fillers found themselves in the path of Mary Kellett–not over a justifiable prosecution of Ligia for public drunkenness, indecent exposure, and uttering threats, but over a charge of spousal rape against Vladek Filler.
Ligia’s behavior, especially toward her husband and children, was so egregious and erratic, that even after the first charge against Vladek was filed by Kellett, a family court judge not only granted Vladek custody of the children, on the recommendation of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, but Vladek was granted a restraining order against Ligia to protect himself and the children from her abuse. I think we all must realize how obviously toxic a woman’s gotta be for this to be the outcome in a US family court.
Kellett conducted a prosecution for spousal rape against Filler, despite no evidence, despite Ligia’s refusal to get a rape kit done after making her allegation, and despite the allegation emerging from an obviously mentally disturbed and violent woman during a highly charged marital break-up.
The case ended in conviction, but Defence Attorney Daniel Pileggi filed a motion for a mistrial, citing several incidences of prosecutorial misconduct (including the concealment of exculpatory evidence) on the part of Kellett, and Filler was granted a second trial.
In response, Kellett filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Maine, to overturn the decision, quash the new trial, and uphold the conviction.
Filler’s attorney in that proceeding, Neil Fishman, described the it as a “Salem witch trial”, wherein Kellett repeatedly misrepresented her motions at the earlier trial to the Supreme court, contradicted herself several times, and claimed Filler should have introduced evidence of Ligia’s motives in making the accusations, despite the lower court having granted Kellett’s motion to exclude that very evidence. During this proceeding, Kellett attempted to have the Supreme court set a precedent that would exclude from spousal assault cases any evidence of the accuser’s possible motives to lie, such as bitter custody disputes or contentious divorce cases.
Not only did the Supreme court set precedent upholding the rights of accused men to present such evidence, the Court found that prosecutor Kellett had “improperly encouraged the jury to use the *absence* of evidence” to convict, and cited a number of instances in which she had engaged in misconduct. The order for a retrial was upheld.
It was at this point that NCFM and SAVE stepped up the issuing of press releases and coverage, and where AVFM began writing extensively about the case. All three organizations, among others groups and individuals, filed complaints of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Kellett with the Governor of Maine and the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar.
In response, Kellett attempted to get a gag order placed on AVFM regarding the Filler case, which a judge rightly refused to grant.
Kellett, who absolutely isn’t on anything remotely resembling a witch hunt, or a personal vendetta, had her own assistant placed on the new prosecution team, despite ever-growing media attention, and several formal complaints of Kellett’s misconduct and calls for disciplinary action against her, specifically in regard to her targeting of this particular man.
Filler was acquitted on the sexual assault charges, but convicted on a charge of minor spousal assault, for pushing Ligia. The evidence? A single bruise. A bruise that police claim did not exist on her arm days after she said Filler had put it there, which was noted by police in their report of her attempted abduction of one of the children.
Prior to the conclusion of that case, a hearing was scheduled by the Board of Overseers of the Bar, to determine whether Kellett should be disciplined for prosecutorial misconduct. And the system circled the wagons. Including assigning Asst Attorney General Ronald Lupton to defend Kellett.
Filler was sentenced to 21 days in jail on the charge of pushing Ligia. And in a bid to prove her lack of prosecutorial bias and her proper conduct as an officer of the court, Kellett arranged to delay his incarceration so that it would run concurrent with her hearing before the overseers. Filler was lucky enough to be allowed to testify against Kellett despite being incarcerated, but was forced to do so dressed in prison orange and shackled at the wrist.
60 days after the hearing, the findings were released: Kellett had failed to turn over at least two key pieces of exculpatory evidence, had engaged in multiple violations of rules and court orders, misled the jury, and engaged in conduct unworthy of an attorney. The state bar panel recommended she be suspended until disciplinary proceedings could be scheduled, but the Attorney General of Maine and the DAs office of Bar Harbor have taken no such action. She has remained free to prosecute crimes in Bar Harbor.
Through all of this bullshit, from Vladek’s filing for divorce in 2007, the children have been in either his custody or, when he’s been behind bars, in the custody of the foster care system. Ligia has made several attempts to claim custody of the children, from applying through the courts to showing up at their home and demanding the kids be handed over to her, to attempted abductions. Ligia was caught on police video telling a friend subsequent to the initial charge, that she was “fighting for the children,” and receiving legal advice to cry more to be more believable.
Ligia has a family court-documented history of verbal and physical abuse of both the children and her husband–a history that has kept the children not only out of her custody, but has resulted in a restraining order against Ligia. To my knowledge, Ligia has not been charged with any crime related to this case.
Now, John the Other has speculated that Kellett is being incentivized by provisions in the Violence Against Women act to maliciously prosecute potentially innocent men for monetary gain. And yes, VAWA does provide financial and immigration incentives to women who make accusations of domestic violence and spousal rape, as well as financial incentives to District Attorney’s offices to bring such cases to court.
But these incentives exist whether cases end in conviction or not. Kellett’s office gets its money, whether these men are convicted or acquitted. The money doesn’t explain why Kellett was so determined to see Filler in prison that she would conceal exculpatory evidence, file motions to exclude evidence of the accuser’s motive or state of mind, instruct the police to destroy video tapes rather than hand them over to the defence, or lie outright to the Supreme Court.
Her prosecution rate for domestic violence and sexual assault is, again, 40 times higher per capita than in the general population of the US. She was overheard *in the courtroom* while the jury was not present, joking about Mr. Filler “running to call his mommy” when his wife had “punched him in the face”, and making racists remarks about how men of Filler’s ethnicity always abuse their women, and Filler’s sons would be raised by him to be abusers.
This is not about the oodles of VAWA money for Mary Kellett. The VAWA money just gives her the funding she needs to do what she REALLY wants–to lock men up, and excuse violent and psychotic women. This is all about the sisterhood, and Kellett seems perfectly prepared to cast the entire criminal justice system of Maine into disrepute to serve her ideological, bigoted and hate-based beliefs.
And the system is now left with an unanswered question: what are they going to do about Mary Kellett?
The investigation into her conduct, and the overseers hearing, indicate something needs to be done. And a disciplinary hearing has been announced to decide exactly that, with one week’s notice. That’s right–July 15th, in Portland Maine, three hours drive from the people of Bar Harbor who have the greatest vested interest in the outcome of this case.
We’re assuming the timing and the short notice are an attempt to have as few interested parties in the courtroom as possible, and as little media coverage as they can get. And it certainly doesn’t help that Paul Elam–who might have been interested in attending personally–is on vacation at the moment.
And that’s why we’re asking if anyone of you guys who happens to be in the vicinity of Portland Maine and might want to engage in some citizen journalism, to please contact John the Other (that’s John Hembling) at John@avoiceformen.com. Even if the mainstream don’t give a whole lot of fucks about this case, or this prosecutor, AVFM sure as hell does. We want to know what exactly is going to go on in this disciplinary hearing.
So, any of you guys want to do this, please let John know.