Maine raises the bar on corruption

Maine Courts allow false evidence and Holocaust analogy to convict Vladek Filler

Per DA Carletta Bassano’s demand Filler to be held at undisclosed jail during Kellett’s August 30-31 disciplinary hearing.

Last week, Maine Governor Paul LePage retracted his statement and apologized for insulting Holocaust survivors with his “Gestapo” comment.  Meanwhile the Maine Supreme Court approved a prosecutor’s Holocaust comment used to convict Vladek Filler for a misdemeanor assault claim made by his wife.

This was a case where previously Department of Health and Human Services, 2 Guardian Ad Litems, 3 child therapists, and 2 district court judges all concluded the accuser’s claims lacked credibility and the children were placed with Mr. Filler for protection from Mrs. Filler’s abuse.  Investigations and findings were ignored by prosecutor Mary N. Kellett and for 5 years and through 2 trials her office relentlessly sought to force a conviction and imprisonment of Mr. Filler through prosecutorial misconduct.

That malicious prosecution of Vladek Filler exposed crimes and modern day Witch Trials being committed against numerous other fathers and men by prosecutor Mary Kellett even while she faces disbarment for her misconduct in the Filler case.

Because of findings of her misconduct in the first trial and her appeal, her colleague Paul Cavanaugh handled the retrial and the second appeal.  Cavanaugh inappropriately took issue before judges with Bar complaints filed against Kellett for the Filler case, internet publicity of her misconduct, calls for her removal, and with Mr. Filler gaining sole custody of his children.  These issues had nothing to do with the already discredited claims brought against Filler, but it revealed why Filler was being maliciously prosecuted.

At the retrial, Cavanaugh told the jury that Ligia Filler Barrientos’ effort to gain child custody from her husband was like the book and movie Sophie’s Choice where she was the Jewish Sophie in the Auschwitz concentration camp forced by a Nazi to choose which of her children she would sacrifice to him.

In reality Ligia Filler Barrientos lost custody of her children due to her domestic abuse and violent psychotic episodes.  Even falsely accusing her husband of sexual misconduct could not regain her parental rights, but brought a 5 year long criminal prosecution of Vladek Filler.  Throughout the 5 year prosecution Filler won and maintained sole custody of his children only to be compared to a Nazi child killer before the jury.

Ironically Filler was born in Ukraine and lost numerous family members in the Holocaust.  His Jewish grandfather was a WWII hero who died in battle defending his children from the Nazis.  But none of this stopped the State of Maine from comparing a loving and protective father to a Nazi child murderer and misrepresenting a child abusing female as a Jewish victim in the Holocaust.

In defense of his analogy before the Maine Supreme Court, prosecutor Paul Cavanaugh argued that his Sophie’s Choice example was so common that it would be like using “LOL” on the internet.

As Maine’s Governor LePage did, so must Carletta Bassano’s district attorney’s office apologize to single fathers and victims of the Holocaust

As Maine’s Governor LePage did, so must Carletta Bassano’s District Attorney’s office apologize to single fathers and victims of the Holocaust for comparing a known female child abuser to Sophie’s choice, a selfless father to a Nazi, and the sacrifice of children to “LOL”.

The Maine Supreme Court got it wrong and found no violations in the State’s use of false evidence of a bruise, or with comparing a falsely accused father in a custody dispute to a Nazi child killer.  And other far more serious misconduct in the “retrial” was not addressed at all by the Supreme Court.

At trial, repeatedly over objections the prosecutor was allowed to present fraudulent evidence and elicit false testimony.  Defense was repeatedly barred from mentioning accuser’s admissions, documents, photographs, and police reports from discovery to address prosecution’s misrepresentations.

The 2nd trial judge Robert E. Murray consistently denied defense motions, and over objections allowed prosecution to present false claims and evidence to the jury.  Defense was even barred from citing State’s own discovery documents and police reports in response.   The jury was not allowed to know the truth of Ligia Filler’s perjury, her admissions, her being a known child abuser, her long history of psychiatric treatment, and false allegations of abuse against other men.  Instead, through prosecutorial misrepresentations the jury was repeatedly misled to accept the opposite facts than what the case record and evidence showed.

In the middle of the 2nd trial the judge did not allow Ligia Filler to be confronted on cross examination with her handwritten list of plans and shocking admissions in her letters.  With the jury kept out of the courtroom, Ligia Filler admitted she wrote a list in Spanish detailing steps she was planning to take in April 2007 prior to making claims of assault against her husband.  As a result of new evidence of her perjury, Vladek Filler was threatened by prosecution with arrest and seizure of all defense documents and exhibits. Prosecution set out to obtain a warrant to seize defense’s trial records during the trial.

Ligia Filler then had an episode outside the jury room and told the prosecutor she did not want to return to the stand and be confronted with more of her writings.  Rather than stop the trial, the judge assured the prosecutor that defense would not be allowed to present evidence not previously disclosed to prosecution.  That was an open violation of defense’s legal right to present such evidence but was done to persuade Mrs. Filler to return to testify without fear of perjury.

Ligia Filler testified that she was “pushed” from a bathroom on April 20, 2007 and that assault prompted her to leave and contact police to “get” custody of her son from Vladek Filler and have him deliver to her.  She testified there was no other physical contact with her husband.  When police arrived on April 22, 2007 without her son, she collapsed in the driveway and was carried in to her friend’s house.  Over objections prosecution was allowed to elicit testimony by asking Ligia Filler to “explain” a photograph of her bruise which appeared 4 days after the alleged “push” incident.  She stated she didn’t know what the bruise was when it appeared but still offered her speculation about possibly getting hurt on a kitchen chair.  Defense attorney Stephen Smith objected, citing the case record and prior testimony failed to show even a casual connection of the bruise to allegations against Vladek Filler.  Allowing a photograph of an unrelated bruise and its speculation was unfairly prejudicial to Filler. 

The judge further barred defense from asking questions and presenting police reports which noted that Ligia Filler changed her story and that her physical examination days after the alleged incident showed no bruise on her arm, explicit denial of bruises, and a different story.  One police officer testified he examined her and there was absolutely no bruise on her arm on day 3.  A second police officer testified she met him on day 4 and showed him a bruise; didn’t know how she got it; didn’t claim she was pushed on a chair; and that the chair theory was his idea so he photographed her sitting on it showing her bruise.

In closing arguments prosecution was allowed to present different ‘facts’ and testimony than what was in evidence.  Cavanaugh repeatedly made new and different claims to the jury of how Ligia Filler was assaulted and bruised contrary to the testimony at trial.  He pled with the jury to sympathize with Mrs. Filler for losing children’s custody to Mr. Filler and blamed police for failing to get her “boy back”.

Cavanaugh asked the jury, “Can you imagine, do you have life experiences, common sense, what that mother must have been going through?”  The jury was kept unaware of Mrs. Filler’s child abuse and of Mr. Filler’s legal struggle for their custody.  Cavanaugh simply told the jury that Mrs. Filler was in a situation with her husband like Sophie from the book and movie Sophie’s Choice.  That Vladek Filler gained custody of the children simply because he “won the race to the courthouse.  He got the kids.”

Cavanaugh asked the jury to discount police’s testimony and the State’s burden of proof but instead just “Imagine if Mrs. Filler is telling the truth and police did a bad job… don’t hold him accountable for what he did because the police didn’t do their job[?]”

The retrial of Vladek Filler was reduced to the State telling the jury not to acquit due to absence of evidence but instead “imagine” evidence and emotions to convict him.

Evidence clearly shows that Vladek Filler is an innocent man who has been maliciously prosecuted, falsely convicted, and vindictively punished with 21 days in jail.  Justice was denied to Mr. Filler and his two sons who suffered domestic violence only to endure over 5 years of prosecutorial abuse of the Hancock County district attorney’s office.

As the study released this year by the Center for Public Integrity showed, Maine’s judicial system is one of the top 5 most corrupt in the nation, and the Filler case is a prime example of that.

On July 16, 2012, district attorney Carletta Bassano filed a detailed personal request with the court for Vladek Filler’s arrest and imprisonment.  An order was issued to jail Mr. Filler precisely during the time he is to testify at assistant district attorney Mary Kellett’s August 30-31 disciplinary hearing.  It is clear evidence of an effort to silence Vladek Filler by detaining him so he would not be able to give testimony of the crimes being committed by Carletta Bassano’s office.  Vladek Filler will be held at an unknown location and given the crimes committed against him, his safety is in danger.

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