Victim, advocate say such comments are why women don't always report sex crimes
@RBN One crime does not authorize another. Paul Harvey, the late national
radio personality, said it best that if you want to find the real scum of the
earth, one need look not further than many prison guards. I know that there are
millions of complaints against them and Judge Sam probably has reviewed some
frivolous claims from inmates against them. In this matter, when a guard
actually admits to inappropriate behavior, there should have been a different
finding. On a legal level Judge Sam might not have been able to make that
finding but I don't see how because the case was actually given a hearing.
We incarcerate more people out of our population by an average rate of 7-2 than
any other country. Then we treat them as monsters. Are we really the worst
people on earth?
Given the statistics in Utah compared to the rest of the nation on frequency of
sexual assaults, incest and pornography, I would say Utah has some
soul-searching to do on how females and vulnerable people are treated. This
judge is part of the problem. There should be a zero tolerance policy and it
does not matter what training that deputy received. If he did not know that
touching a prisoner is just wrong and not to be done, then something is wrong
with him. I agree with above poster who stated that a situation where a
prisoner could be inappropriately touched should not exist. Having more than
one adult in the room, surveillance cameras, strict policies all reduce the
number of these crimes and complaints.
Almost everyone gets that being under the formal control and authority of
another renders 'consent' impossible under law. The rule is
universally accepted, and moots the 'he said/she said" problem. It
would be interesting to know the demographic of the commenters.
I have no clue if you are guilty or not. 50/50...just can't tell, so
I'll give you half a sentence. Is that how it works?Wonderful
thing here is the comments. Most people are on her side. That represents a huge
change in awareness that has happened recently.
The judge blew this. Even if he had doubts and decided to give the guy a light
sentence, he never should have said what he did. Proabably his judgement and
comments are being reviewed by those above him as we speak. At the very least,
he needs to be scrutinized by whoever is responsible for doing that--and he
needs to know it's happening. Wake-up time for him.
In response to "I know it. I Live it. I Love it." There is a saying that
in the mouths of two or three witnesses a truth shall be established. More than
one inmate was affected by this deputy's actions and he admitted it, he
just downplayed the severity of it, in his judgement (which apparently is
faulty). Therefore, with more than one witness, his inappropriate and illegal
actions toward an inmate under his authority are established as the truth. As
John Pack Lambert stated above, not everyone who goes to jail is actually guilty
of the crime of which they are accused, and even if they are, abuse in jail
should not be tolerated, no matter what their history. It is a mark of how far
our humanity has fallen that we (the good law-abiding society) tacitly accept
the prison abuse that is so rampant in our country. People should pay for their
crimes in the manner civil law requires - this does not include losing their
dignity and humanity in a corrupt and abusive prison society.
This judge ought to be put in jail. This is unbelievable.
Maybe her credibility would be in question if the guy hadn't admitted that
he did indeed touch both women and then claimed it was a 'lack of
training.' A lack of training? Really? Was he raised in a cave?
Didn't have parents, school, POST classes required to become a deputy?If a person doesn't have enough self control, training or personal
discretion to understand the ethics of this situation, then he has no business
in a position of trust.And that certainly applies to Judge David Sam.
She has faced multiple charges of "Theft by Deception" and has been
arrested multiple times.Is her credibility in question?Would you take the word of a deputy who says he made a mistake, but not a
sexual advance... or someone with that history? If you'd take her word, you
wouldn't last long as a judge. She could very well be right, but the burden
of proof is on her and her history CERTAINLY doesn't help.
Wonder,Please point out where anyone said or even remotely implied
that inappropriate touching was "okay".Please treat our
intelligent and cogent comments with a bit of respect.
None of us really know anything about the facts of this case. None of us has
read the investigative reports or the sentencing report prepared by the
probation officer. It would be naïve to deny the existence of a political
agenda often in play when it comes to sex cases. Far too many prosecutors and
judges capitulate to that agenda to the effect that justice often is not served
as a consequence. Insofar as Judge Sam may have been standing up to that agenda
in its effect perhaps leading to an erroneous evaluation of the facts of the
case relative to the culpability of the accused, he is to be commended, not
According to this apparently credible article, the defendant officer admitted,
in an open plea, that he had touched the breasts of two female inmates under his
care, authority, and control. Then he tried to excuse his inexcusable conduct
by incredibly claiming a lack of training, as if an officer needed any to know
this was wrong under any circumstances whatsoever. Can the government appeal
this pat on the butt sentence as an abuse of discretion in the procedural
posture of the case. I practiced law for many years and also had a
lot of other privileged and confidential relationships with survivors of sexual
abuse in therapy, representing mentl helath professionals, etc. This kind of
official misconduct is all too common and the good old boy system produces
results like this. A civil rights damage suit, with a lower burden
of proof, may be in order, if this federal judge would not hear it and the
plaintiffs could get past his comments.
Irrespective of whether alledged permission was given or whether it was
encouraged or not you have to remember the relationship of prisoner and jailer.
The jailer has no right to inappropriatly touch anyone. This guy knew this and
took full advantage of his position of trust. He needs to be locked up.
Yes, I recall the case with the lacrosse team. Such incidents are as tragic as
the ones when the victim is raped by a group, photos taken, uploaded for
amusement, and she is the star of the show, passed out, and the brunt of the
jokes later, as her rapists are saved from their consequences by family,
friends, and sympathetic townsfolk. This man, however, did admit his crime, and
it shouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to figure out without training
that it was wrong, wrong, wrong. He was doing what toddlers do--blaming someone
else, to get out of trouble. Maybe he needed to spend some time being the jailed
instead of the jailer, to see what it was like counting on someone else to treat
him with dignity.
Actually, I noticed this person was in jail. Not everyone put in jail is ever
convicted of a crime. All arrested people get put in jail, but many people are
wrongly arrested. So there is no reason to act like just because someone has
been in jail they are a criminal.
Killpack's claim that Epperson touched bare breasts due to "a lack of
training" is nonsense. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but I cannot
believe that anyone is ignorant of the law to the extent to not realized that
A-touching these parts of another's body without consent is illegal, and
B-that the very notion of consent from incarcerated people in a case like this
is unworkable.The whole case is a travesty of justice.
Judge Sam has had senior judge status, which if I understand correctly is like
being semi-retired, since 1999. Maybe this is a sign that we need to not allow
people to sit on the federal judiciary for ever. It leads to old attitudes
towards things like rape being imposed in modern sentencing.On the
other hand, maybe I should not blame judge Sam's failures on others. It is
his own failures that are clear, not those of others.
This is another egregious overstepping of authority by a judge. It was up to the
jury to decide if the accused was guilty or not. Since the jury found the person
guilty of the crimes, the judge should sentence them based on their crimes, not
based on his own feelings.Being imprisoned does not make women open
to sexual exploitation. This is a dark mark on the US judiciary, and we just
hope it can be shown to not truly reflect Utah views, since this is a federal
"actions were due to a lack of training"??? Really? You need
"training" to know not to touch inmates breasts whether invited or not?
Did you think the jail was a frat house? What does this say about the kind of
people they are hiring to work in our jails? Not the sharpest tool in the shed.
So, this comment was denied initially, but I can't see how it's any
more or less offensive than other posted comments. It might be because I
included the words "breast" and "genitalia," but those are the
terms used in the article.More and more, I see how much the powers
that be are a good ole' boy system. In health-care, law, and politics,
there seems to be no justice for the "little guy." This judge should
realize that, invited or not, the guard's position meant that he could not,
under any circumstances instantiate sexual contact with prisoners. What's
worse is that there are lawyers like this out there who feel it is fine to help
others lie their way out of any sort of accountability for their actions. Not
sufficient training? No one ever taught him that he shouldn't touch the
bare breasts or genitalia of a detained prisoner in his care, with or without
his permission? As a judge, I'd be offended that someone would think
I'd be so stupid as to buy that excuse.
From what I understand a jailer/prison employee comes up against all kinds of
provocation but is trained to know that they must remain steadfast - no matter
what the provocation is. They are trained in all sorts of ways to avoid
reacting to the provocations, whether it is being spit on, swore at, or other
tactics are used on them. All kinds of agreements are signed by the employee
and they know what is appropriate and what is not. The point is, he dishonored
the commitments he has made. If an employee transgresses that commitment, they
are generally fired or reprimanded in some way. In this case put on probation.
@Dante, Her reasons for being in jail are irrelevant to the crime committed to
her. You are still a human being not a sex toy.
A couple of comments.If the dude touched her inappropriately then he
obviously should not have done that and should receive punishment
accordingly.That being said just because a woman claims it happens
doesn't mean it did and starting with the premise that they guy is guilty
just because a woman said something happened is wrong.There are
plenty of incidences where everyone believed one thing and when the evidence and
facts came forward it was an entirely different story.Each case
should be decided on its own and not with instantly believing anyone male/female
by default. I get tired of the argument "well this is women don't come
forward.....". Each case should stand on its own.Duke lacrosse
rape case ring a bell with anyone?
For those that say the nature of her crime is irrelevant don't understand
evidence. The crime she was charged with may affect her credibility, and can be
used to impeach it. Mitigating factors may be at play. Judge Sam is as
experienced and fair a judge as there is.
Dante, your comments are not credible or valid if you can't even identify
the victim/inmate. Killpack was the defense attorney according to this article.
Stay on topic.
Dante: "Was she in jail for prostitution, indecent exposure, or similar
sex-related crimes? If so, the degree of offense she suffered is open to
question." No it isn't. Your comment shows everything that
is wrong with some men (and some women) who still cleave to a 1950's
mistake ideology about sexual assault and abuse in general. Even a criminal in
jail or a prostitute is entitle to NOT be raped nor abused nor groped and the
punishment should be the same for all offenders, or maybe even harsher for
offenders in positions of trust. It's about us and the way we
as law abiding citizens behave not what someone's past crimes or job is or
cc423, how do you explain the same judge's opinion in the Womack case, as
quoted in this story? If the judge was lenient on Epperson because he's lax
on sexual assault, rather than because the evidence wasn't strong, then why
did he come down much harder on Womack?I admit that I myself was
pretty skeptical about this judge's impartiality and was prepared to write
a comment about injustice until I got to the part about the Womack case.
@Dante - "Unfortunately, this article deprives the reader of sufficient
information to form an opinion of Killpack's reliability".Fortunately, we do not need to form an opinion on this. I am grateful for all
the things that I do not need to decide.However, I wonder what a
"jury of her peers" (other inmates?) would have decided about this
DANTE: It does NOT matter what her crime was... This officer admitted he touched
this woman inappropriately. HE ADMITTED IT. Her past is no issue.
The key word here is CONSENT. If you are an inmate under the authority of a
jailer you do not have legal CONSENT, regardless of the circumstances. The judge
is wrong and prison reform is desperately needed. Also, the US is obsessed with
incarcerating people for minor offenses anyway, which just makes this kind of
problem even worse.
Sexual predators need to flock to Utah... this judge has your back! And women...
The man admits he touched these women inappropriately. It doesn't matter
if it was "invited" or not, it was wrong in the context of guard vs.
inmate. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Unbelievable that some posters think this was ok.
"'As I said previously, this case is just fraught with 'she said,
he said.' It's fraught with the possibility of conduct that was lured,
encouraged and invited,' Sam said."-------------------All
of which may be true AND no excuse for illegal conduct by the officer, if it
occurred.I agree with the comment above that because of all the
problems cited above, the **real** issue at hand is a protocol that would allow
such a 'she said, he said.' condition to ever exist in this
environment. It might be expensive but a system of constantly recorded
surveillance camera coverage would remove the problem of contrary 2-party
testimony.My guess is it would also do something of even greater
importance by **preventing** any improper behavior in the first place.
This article would be much more useful if the reader were told what crimes
Killpack committed that got her thrown in jail. Is she a thief? Did her crimes
reflect dishonesty? Did her presentencing report indicate borderline personality
disorder and a propensity to hurt others? Do her crimes indicate that she's
a compulsive liar, unwilling to acknowledge her complicity in the problems in
her life? If so, then her credibility should indeed be questioned.Was she in jail for prostitution, indecent exposure, or similar sex-related
crimes? If so, the degree of offense she suffered is open to question.On the other hand, if Killpack was in jail for unpaid traffic tickets
(unlikely), then she is entitled to greater credibility. If she was in jail for
selling heroin, then other implications might be drawn.She
wasn't in jail for being a trustworthy, honest, upstanding citizen, no
matter what the Rape Crisis Center may say. Unfortunately, this article deprives
the reader of sufficient information to form an opinion of Killpack's
Judge Sam is one of the finest and fairest people I know. I absolutely trust his
judgement and appreciate his service.
Get this judge off the bench.
"Killpack . . . reminded the judge that Epperson didn't ever admit to
anything other than sexual assault."That's a pretty
egregious typo. The article makes it clear that Epperson only admitted to
The judge isn't wrong.Without other evidence it ultimately is
word against word, credibility against credibility. And ultimately the burden of
proof can only fairly be placed on the accuser, not accused."Deputy" doesn't warrant an exemption of scrutiny, but
"criminal" does weaken the credibility of the accuser. With that said,
it may very well be true. Personally, I don't doubt it or believe it either
way. But I wouldn't hate the judge for not locking a man up and potentially
splitting up his family... all on someone's word. And if he had... people
might have asked why he took "the word of a criminal", etc./////With that said, protocol is an issue that can weigh in on
this.1 - Why aren't multiple parties present for a physical
check?2 - Why not in an area under at least partial surveillance?Ultimately, where this man requested a training and didn't get it,
requested a transfer and didn't get it, this doesn't hurt his case at
all. If anything it could hurt the prison's credibility, but that's
it.Perhaps the truth hasn't surfaced, but that isn't the
What a creepy judge.