We believe that anyone accused of a crime deserves a competent legal defense. And we have to wonder if Attorney General Terry Goddard pursued a civil forfeiture action against alleged pimp John LaVoie because a criminal case would have been too difficult to prove.
That said, is an alleged pimp really the client that defense attorney Brad Roach wants when he’s seeking to unseat Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall?
Roach, a Republican who wants to knock out the three-term Democratic incumbent in November, used to work for LaWall, before all that Lourdes Lopez stuff exploded in the wake of the slaying of Dr. Brian Stidham.
Roach may have some professional appreciation for Goddard’s use of civil forfeiture laws to go after LaVoie. Back in his days as a prosecutor, Roach sometimes used unorthodox strategies himself, as in the case of Tyrone Henry, whose unusual legal troubles were reported in the Tucson Weekly by Dave Maass.
From Maass’ article:
In the summer of 2000, Roach was assigned to prosecute Tyrone Henry after two teenage girls said he lured them to his home to try out a product called “White Dew” facial cream he was developing. Instead of exfoliation, they said they got ejaculation.
The girls, 15 and 16 years old at the time, said Henry showed them examples of women with “clumpy” white cream on their faces and then blindfolded them. The girls said they heard heavy breathing and Henry say, “It’s coming,” and then felt a thick, warm substance applied to their faces. They said he took photos, paid them $10 a piece and convinced them to make follow-up appointments. Thinking about it later, they realized they’d been hoodwinked and called the police.
Roach admits the hardest part of the case was figuring out what charge he could hang on Henry. It wasn’t sexual assault because he didn’t touch the girls sexually, and they didn’t touch him. And it wasn’t indecent exposure because the girls were blindfolded.
“It was fascinating,” Roach said. “I don’t want to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime case, but it’s only once in awhile do you get something this bizarre.”
In the end, the only charge Roach could get to stick was “fraudulent scheme and artifice.” The Division II of the Arizona Court of Appeals concluded that Roach had made the right decision, knocking down Henry’s appeal.
“It was a huge loophole,” Roach said. “No one in the Legislature had ever thought of it. It’s not the sort of crime that had come up before.”
Henry has maintained the girls were lying about the experience.
I had my own encounter with LaVoie in the early ’90s, when he made me an honorary member of his fledgling People’s News Network. Remind me to tell you about that episode sometime.