Saturday, November 02, 2013

An eyewitness account of the surveillance camera video

From Aaron France, DC cop and BJJ brownbelt... this can be found on the BJJ sub-reddit and virally all over the web, really:

 "I have a few things to say about the Maldonado acquittal. First, the idea that juries are always correct, even when presented with very clear video evidence is a fantasy. I remember the Rodney King trial. They were initially acquitted by a jury, but when tried in federal court, they were convicted.

This leads to the next point; there is a difference between an acquittal and a summary dismissal or a finding of no probable cause. Prior to these two being arrested, Detectives had to investigate the case, a Lieutenant or higher had to sign off on the affidavit that they drafted in support of an arrest warrant, a section chief or deputy section chief of the US Attorney's Office had to review the affidavit and (in most cases) the video of the offense.

From there, a Judge read the facts of the affidavit, swore the officers to the fact that it was true and accurate, and signed it. After they were arrested, the two were presented for arraignment. An assistant US Attorney read the facts of the case to a Judge, and a defense attorney made an argument as to why they should have been released. The judge held them based upon the nature of the charges.

After that, a third judge held a preliminary hearing, where he found probable cause. He then heard arguments as to why they should be released, and denied that.

Then, a grand jury had to indict the two of them. 20 people had to sit in a room and listen to evidence about the case, and decide if there was probable cause.

That's a lot of people who are capable of saying "this doesn't seem right" before it's even brought to trial. I didn't sit through most of the trial. I had the opportunity to drop in every now and then, while on down time during other trials and court matters that I had to attend. I did get to see a few things, and at one point during all of this, I had the opportunity to view the surveillance footage of the garage.

What I saw was deplorable. The video depicted Schultz and Maldonado carry the victim into a parking garage. They brought her over to a wall of the garage, removed her pants, and had sex with her. I will keep some of the details to myself, but one of them was in front of her, and one of them was behind her.

During this, one of them hands her a phone, which we later learned was used to capture a video where the victim is heard telling them to stop. At a certain point in the video, Maldonado leaves, and Schultz continues. As I recall, Maldonado briefly returned, at which point Schultz was kneeling over her, forcing her into oral sex. She turned her head away numerous times and at one point Schultz drops her head onto the pavement. After that is said and done, Schultz leaves.

The victim is laying on the pavement, half-naked, at 3 am, when it was 38 degrees outside. Metropolitan Police Department Officers found her because someone heard her yelling for help, after being alone on the pavement for something like 40 minutes. None of this is speculation. This is my recollection of the video, which I viewed with my own eyes. I do not believe that either of them are innocent, or that they were falsely accused.

There has been a very small subset of people acting as an advocate for Maldonado's "innocence" claiming that he believed this was a consensual encounter. Ask yourself; if this happened to your wife, your daughter, your girlfriend, your sister, or even a close female friend, would you advocate Maldonado's innocence? Most of you would be calling for blood. Some of you would even take it yourselves.

So if we were to look at Maldonado's behavior, put criminal implications aside and give him the benefit of the doubt, here's the best thing we can say about him... He had sex with a woman who was intoxicated to the point where she could not walk, and afterwards he treated her like a piece of trash, by leaving her half naked on the cement floor of a parking garage, in the middle of the night, when it was barely above freezing. And that woman? She was his "teammate." Not many people outside of the Brazilian Jiujitsu Community can comprehend the bond that develops between training partners, due to the level of trust that training partners are required to develop in each other. ...

Yet there are a few people who believe that we should let him back into the Brazilian Jiujitsu community. These people believe that he should be allowed to continue to sharpen his skills, learning to choke people and cause their joints to stop functioning. They apparently believe that he should be allowed to do this in the presence of women and children. How can you possibly ever trust this man not to just hang onto a choke, or not hold an armbar after you tap? He's already demonstrated a propensity to do what he wants with another persons body, why should we believe it ends with sex?

Realistically, I know that he cannot be kept out of every gym in the country, and he'll probably be back on the mat by the time the weekend rolls around. So how can I make a difference?

What I can do is boycott any product that sponsors him and let them know why. I can hold up any sign I want at any tournament he's competing at. I could, if he decided to train at my gym, choose to give someone else my money (we'd never have him). I can do whatever I can to make him and those who support him feel uncomfortable. There people in this world that I am afraid of, and Maldonado is not one of them.

Remember, your outrage doesn't have to end today. Stay loud, my friends."


SavageKitsune said...

Thank you.

The truth be told said...

This story totally contradicts the police report. Aaron said she had on pants and that they carried her. Police report said that they walked in together and that she had a dress on. Who do you believe?

Georgette said...

Jesus, are you serious Victor?

Strangely enough some women wear leggings under dresses, or tunic tops that look like dresses, especially in cold weather. Even more strangely, men don't always know what to call womens' clothing items, and leggings can be confused for pants in the masculine mind.

Even MORE strangely, two people can watch the same video of someone being assaulted in a parking garage and come up with differing interpretations of clothing seen in that video and STILL NOT BE LYING as to whether there is an assault on said video.

The truth be told said...

Georgette. Really? They carried her? The police report said that she walked in to the garage. They took her pants off? Really? I'm sorry but the dress she was wearing looks nothing like pants and nothing was taken off. She had on hot pink dress and knee high black UGGs. I'm done arguing over what's on the video and what a liar Aaron France is. And you are right. 2 people can look at the video and see things differently. But, when 14 jurors (2 alternates) look at a video and all 12 (2 were dismissed when they went in to deliberation) agree that they are not guilty sends a very strong message Georgette. 3 TLI students had sex. They were drunk. They made bad decisions, and two of them spent 10 months in jail. Their families, after seeing the video, supported them. Their friends, after "seeing" the video supported them. Her supporters (I think maybe 1 or 2 were present) after seeing the video were shocked. They were looking for something that wasn't there. I was shocked when I saw the video. Who wouldn't be shocked after the news reported it on ABC News?

“Too Graphic to Show”

From The TV Reporter:
Prosecutors also said the two men stole her cell phone, and allege that Maldonado and Schultz both sexually abused the victim repeatedly while she slipped in and out of consciousness. (The prosecutor did say that)

From The Police Report: The Complainant does recall that Defendant Maldonado walked into the garage with her and Defendant Schultz and that he left the garage area before Defendant Schultz.

While standing next to the gate, Defendant Maldonado stood behind the Complainant and began to undo his pants. Defendant Maldonado then pulled his pants down, grabbed the Complainant around her waist and began to have sexual intercourse with the Complainant. While Defendant Maldonado was engaging in sexual intercourse with the Complainant, Defendant Schultz began to undo his pants. Defendant Schultz then grabbed the Complainant by her hair and forced her head down to his crotch area to perform oral sex on him. This activity continued on for several minutes, after which Defendant Maldonado disengaged. (in this case several equals two minutes 5 seconds)

That was the end of any sex with Mateo and the CW. After that point Matthew had no further contact with the CW.