Selective, Malicious Prosecution? – MJEOL Bullet #67 The district attorney of Santa Barbara, Tom Sneddon, has a perception problem partly because of his record for protecting his friends. What makes this perception more concrete is news out of Santa Maria yesterday (Jan 17). The Santa Maria Times is reporting that Sneddon has refused to prosecute a former deputy of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. who admitted to fondling an under-aged girl and who may be guilty of doing more than that. The former detective, David Bruce Danielson, was arrested July 20 2002 on suspicion of child molestation. The report says that even during the investigation into his molestation case, he remained on “paid administrative leave until he retired.” According to Lt. Julie McCammon, his full pay was also applied to his pension. This supposedly thorough investigation into the charges against Danielson did not exonerate him, however. The only thing Danielson admitted to was “accidentally fondling the then 14 year old child in a one-time occurrence, according to Sneddon,” who said Danielson touched the girl “in areas people would consider inappropriate.” It is unclear if something more than “fondling” occurred. However, from her family’s urgency and her outrage, one could draw that conclusion. Mostly, the family is angry that Sneddon is going forth with prosecuting Jackson, with what looks to be only the accuser’s word. This is baffling to both her and her family, since there seems to be more evidence in her case than there does in Jackson’s. It would be interesting to know whether or not Danielson was involved in the 1993 Jackson investigation. However, this news does come on the hills of rumors saying that some of the police officers close to the current investigation of the Jackson case are disturbed about it being taken to this extent without any concrete evidence. This Danielson case immediately raises red flags. He actually admits to at least fondling this young girl and he isn’t prosecuted in any way? Couple this fact with the current sheriff of Santa Barbara’s admitting that an investigation did not exonerate Danielson, and you have a boat load of questions that beg to be answered. According to Sneddon, his reason for not pursuing the case against Danielson was because there was no “provable criminal intent.” Ah, the old “Oops, I molested you” defense! I guess that works every time! Or I guess it’s accepted if you’re a friend of Sneddon, who also works for the sheriff’s dept. The sheer ridiculousness of that excuse should be grounds for a look into just why Sneddon has chosen not to prosecute based on the word of the girl’s, along with an actual admission from the accused. Illustration of Corruption? Is this an illustration of corruption in the district attorney’s office? That remains to be seen. However, consider the information from Gary Dunlap (see Dunlap interview). Dunlap is the attorney currently suing the DA’s office for $10M claiming witness tampering, racketeering, and violation of civil rights. He has had many run-ins with Sneddon’s tactics and is not surprised the DA may be covering for members of law enforcement. Dunlap says in an extensive interview with MJJF Talk Radio (listen to the entire interview online) that Sneddon has a history or running rough-shot over the north county. So much so that the judge in Dunlap’s own case said there was “substantial governmental misconduct” on the part of the prosecution. Dunlap also discloses info about the close relationship between the DAs office and the sheriff’s dept. Apparently, the sheriff’s dept. builds up “a lot of indebtedness…to the district attorney’s office for having protected them” from any repercussions due to whatever alleged misdeeds any of their officers have done. This could explain why Jackson never filed a formal complaint with the sheriff’s dept. Sneddon would have been involved in the investigation and nothing would have been done, if we are to believe Mr. Dunlap’s assessments. This situation would be laughable if it wasn’t so seriously suspicious. Stay turned folks. I have a feeling this isn’t even half of what we may come to learn about Sneddon’s background and the sheriff’s department. -MJEOL

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