Monday, January 23, 2006

Judge DelVecchio, Mass. Bar Assoc., Judge Maria Lopez: Together At Last

Judge Suzanne DelVecchio, infamous for coddling a homosexual child-raping teacher last week with a suspended sentence, was defended on national television last Friday by a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bar Association. The Hannity & Colmes hour on Fox News identified their guest, Ed Ryan, as speaking for the Mass. Bar Association Task Force.

Ryan, former president of the Massachusetts Bar, made an utter fool of himself -- and his professional association -- by his comments defending the suspended sentence. He essentially parroted Judge DelVecchio's comment that since the boy was just a few weeks shy of his 16th birthday, it must have been consensual, and therefore not so bad! And besides, Ryan said, the boy lied to investigators at first! Ryan even said he'd hold the same opinion if it were his own 15-year-old child involved!

Both the conservative Sean Hannity and liberal Alan Colmes were aghast. When Hannity asked Ryan about his association with DelVecchio, he said she was one of the most respected jurists in the Commonwealth.

In Agape Press today ("Activist Attests to a Pro-Homosexual Judiciary in His State, Cites Examples"), Brian Camenker of Article 8 Alliance/MassResistance referred to the bias of the Massachusetts Bar Association, which was certainly on display in Mr. Ryan on the Hannity & Colmes show.

Ryan also appeared recently on the O'Reilly Factor (10-13-05):
[Bill O'Reilly:] And then there are the criminal courts. Almost every day, we report another terrible crime against children. And often the judges give violent sexual predators light sentences. Some judges favoring rehab and the like. Now last night on “The Factor", Massachusetts lawyer Ed Ryan accused me of undermining the nation's judicial system because I'm holding judges responsible for their sentences.

Interesting footnote: A few years back, Ryan stuck up for the outrageous lenient sentence handed down by Judge Maria Lopez to the male "transgender" (Ebony Horton) who had abducted and assaulted a young boy. Lopez's sentence and outrageous courtroom demeanor led to her resignation, before the state legislature could act on a Bill of Address to remove her from the bench.

[from Associated Press, "Glamorous Judge Under Fire," 9-14-00):
Ryan, the bar association president, said that reasonable people can debate whether Lopez's sentence was just. But to oust her because of it would be wrong. ''I don't want to think that the outcome of cases is going to be determined by the hue and cry of public opinion,'' Ryan said. ''That's a very dangerous precedent.''

[From, ABC 5, Sept. 2000:]
Horton, dressed as a woman, pretended he was searching for his son and asked the boy for help. He then took the child to an abandoned warehouse and forced to the boy to simulate sex acts after holding a screwdriver to the child's neck.

Prosecutors from the Suffolk County District Attorney's office had asked Lopez to give Horton an eight- to 10-year jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to charges of assault with intent to rape a child, kidnapping, indecent assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

Instead, Lopez sentenced Horton to five years' probation and one year of home detention with an electronic monitoring device. He will be allowed to leave home to attend college classes and church three times a week, as well as various medical and counseling appointments....

The victim's grandmother, in tears after the sentencing, said she couldn't understand why Horton wasn't given a stiffer sentence. "He should be in custody, at least eight to 10 years for doing what he did to my grandson. And I don't understand that judge, why she did what she did. Because if it wasn't for the grace of God my grandson could have been dead," she said.

[From the Associated Press story on Lopez]:
Some legal observers say Lopez, 47, is knowledgeable and fair. They say that if she were removed because of a legal, if unpopular, ruling, it would set a dangerous precedent. Others suggest that Lopez's gender has fed the criticism and that questions about her personal style are out of bounds.

''There's something about the coverage of this that has been particularly demeaning to her,'' said U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner....

She was a most unusual judge: The attractive Lopez was unafraid to paint flashy colors on her fingernails, go in-line skating on city streets in Spandex, or pose coyly for a newspaper photographer.

A 1994 Boston Globe profile raved about her ''energy and joie de vivre.'' Her 1995 marriage to Stephen Mindich, publisher of the alternative weekly The Boston Phoenix, made newspaper feature pages, and stories about the couple often appear in the society and gossip columns.

Some of her previous rulings made headlines and prompted criticism. Among them: an order that the state pay for a transsexual's breast reconstruction, and a requirement that a man who killed his friend in a boating accident build a memorial to his victim.

Complaints of leniency were first loudly made against Lopez over a 1992 case in which she refused to keep a man in jail after his juvenile sentence for killing his 5-year-old neighbor was up.

Ed Ryan, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, said Lopez is generally considered fair, thorough and not particularly lenient.

But after the Horton decision, Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr called Lopez ''rancid human flotsam.'' [Go for it, Howie!] Ryan said he heard a talk show host suggest that Lopez be locked up with a child molester holding a screwdriver to her throat.