WKYC in Cleveland reports that Cleveland police have contacted Tom Ganley’s attorneys to request setting up an interview regarding the alleged victim’s allegation that Ganley sexually assaulted her in October 2009.
Ganley has a constitutional right not to be questioned by the police. And, generally, that would be the expected advice of any criminal defense counsel not to subject him to such an interview except that Ganley is running for Congress and he (politically) cannot afford to appear to be not cooperating with the police. Furthermore, most people don’t care what the Fifth Amendment says—they believe if you were truly innocent, you have nothing at risk to subject yourself to questions by the police. These people are incredibly wrong.
Meanwhile, Ganley has refused to take any questions from the media about the case. According to the Chronicle-Telegram, Ganley has indicated that under the advice of his counsel, he must refuse any further comment about the allegations beyond the prepared statements already issued by his campaign and him. Of course, he only said that after he called the claims “politically motivated” and claimed that he had documentation that would prove he was innocent.
Ganley, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Lorain, largely declined to discuss the lawsuit during an endorsement interview Monday with The Chronicle-Telegram. He said his lawyers have advised him not to discuss the case.
Ganley said documentation that he has will prove he did nothing wrong. His attorney did not return a call seeking comment.
In other words, Tom Ganley says he has documentation that totally proves he’s innocent, but his lawyer refuses to release it to the public before the election.
Yeah, even I have a hard time believing that one. If Ganley has documentation that calls his accuser’s story into question, politically at least, it’s insane for him to not release it. I’m struggling to come up with a legal strategy why Ganley’s lawyers wouldn’t release it. Maybe they’ll provide it to the police.
The parlor game begins. Does Ganley’s lawyers allow their client to be interviewed (with them present) in the hopes that they can convince the police not to file criminal charges before the election?
Based on the allegations, Ganley could be facing a charge of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor, maybe even gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony where prison is presumed over probation, but only if the police (and later a jury) believes that Ganley used forced or coercion to engage in the alleged sexual contact. I’d like to see what the police indicate in their report. My gut tells me they probably alleged it was a case of sexual imposition. Regardless, even a conviction for sexual imposition would render Ganley a Tier I sexual offender requiring him to register his residential and work addresses with the sheriff’s office for fifteen years.
Why do I mention this? Well, if they try to pursue felony charges on a case like this, guess who’s office is going to be involved in that decision?
Yep, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason. Just when you didn’t think this couldn’t get any weirder.