Evidence against man accused of being BYU groper is weak, attorney says

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  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    June 9, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    " then I believe the prosecuting attorneys (DA's office) should all be relieved of their jobs and stripped of their law licenses to practice and the chief of police should find another job after they serve time in jail for destroying a man's life." -- SA.

    A Supreme Court decision protects prosecutors and police from civil suits brought by folks determined innocent. Usually only when criminal intent is proven will prosecutors face accountability for misconduct.

    A recent example of folks wrongfully arrested, indicted, and imprisoned were the son and daughter-in-law of murdered retired BYU professor Kay Mortensen. . Their civil suit was dismissed when they sought monetary relief due to police/prosecution action.

  • 32843 PROVO, UT
    June 5, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    AT: truth in all its forms

    It is true that our system is set up as "until until proven guilty". That's the ideal. Yet, that's not how it works in our society. All you have to do is read the comments on news articles such as this one and see just how quick a person is convicted by popular opinion even before the evidence has been presented. All the police have to do is get quoted that all the evidence points to such and such and heaven forbid if a person of interest refuses to speak to the police. That, of course, is a certain give away that a person is guilty. If they didn't do it why won't they speak to the police? Sort of in the same way as if a person refuses to let the law listen in on their phone calls or search their home without due cause. If you have nothing to hide what's the big deal, right?

    The general public as a mob when it comes to this sort of thing and they behave as a mob by convicting someone without knowing all the facts.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 5, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    re Kaladin

    "sg and cjb - obviously neither of you has ever practiced criminal law".


    Does it matter that I haven't practiced criminal law or that I'm not a lawyer? It is an injustice to be accused of a crime you didn't commit and then be made to go into debt or spend your life savings to avoid prison. Yes the people would have to pay for this, so what? They already pay for the prosecution side.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    June 5, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    sg and cjb - obviously neither of you has ever practiced criminal law. When charges are brought there is only need for probable cause -a low standard. A JUDGE determines probable cause based on the affidavit. Bond is then set and the defendant is asked if he wants to hire an attorney, have one appointed, or represent himself. If a defense attorney enters the People are put on notice to provide evidence to the defense. The defense likely has not received anything other than the affidavit and some initial reports because of the early stage of the case. Suing the police and the DA's office is very difficult for a reason. As far as having their fees paid by the prosecution, that would be you paying the fees as the People are paid through tax dollars. Again, I would take the defense attorney's statement with a grain of salt at this point - they always say there is no evidence and their client is not guilty. Also, the DA's office wouldn't file charges in such a high profile case if there wasn't any evidence. None of us have seen the evidence so we don't know yet.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    June 5, 2014 4:55 p.m.


    Wouldn't you agree that the police and prosecution, after charging a person, always say they have solid evidence, blah, blah blah.

    Fact is, we have no facts at this point. Best to wait and observe.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 5, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    People who are found not guilty for lack of evidence, as opposed to a technicality, should have their attorneys fees paid for by the prosecution side. They should also be made to pay an inconvenience fee, lost work days, emotional trauma, etc.

  • sg newhall, CA
    June 5, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    Thanks to the quick responses made by the local police, they have now destroyed a man's life, his family, his ability to earn a living. If there is more evidence the police have, then they should have given it to the defense attorney way before his client was brought before the courts. If what the defense attorney says is true, that the police have the wrong guy, then I hope that he will sue the city and the school for millions. Just by attaching him to these misdemeanors has tarnished his reputation for life. He is now a probable sex offender. If he is indeed found to be the wrong guy, then I believe the prosecuting attorneys (DA's office) should all be relieved of their jobs and stripped of their law licenses to practice and the chief of police should find another job after they serve time in jail for destroying a man's life.

  • ericNorCal San Jose, CA
    June 5, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    I was a KBYU reporter in 1993 and took the time to cover the crime beat. The Campus Police Captain would review what was going on. I had 3 contacts that worked on BYU's PD force. I even went to the Police Academy with one of them. He had stories on break! I could write more.Yet, if I did my post wouldn't be (encouraged as civil dialogue)

  • AFCoug Colorado Springs, CO
    June 5, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    I work as a victim advocate in the Air Force and more times than naught it is always the good guy that is committing these crimes. Ever hear of the three personas people exhibit? One persona around family, another in the work enviornment, and yet another when alone. For some these personas are very closely related and do not vary much. For others they act and do what they know is expected of them in each area but are completly different people. Kind of like the young man that blesses the sacrament on Sunday's but lives it up and drinks the Friday or Saturday before.

    I don't know the evidence and am not throwing the book at him but don't ever discount somebody just becasue they always seemed like a good guy or girl when you knew them. So many of these repeat offenders (16 times) play the game extremely well. In the Air Force these are often the guys making Colonel or Chief Master Seargent before being exposed and ruining the Air Force's name.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    June 5, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    Based on the evidence that is being presented in the media, I'd say there's absolutely no case. They say there's more, I guess, but I sure hope it's more substantial than what's being reported or the prosecution is going to get laughed out of the courtroom. I'm an experienced runner, and I can pick out my training buddies with a reasonable degree of confidence from a long way away, but not with the confidence I'd need to accuse someone of a serious crime in the absence of other evidence like clothing, shoes, or other recognizable cues. I'd say his track buddies are pretty irresponsible to make that accusation. There are plenty of people with similar gaits. Maybe I'm wrong and he is the guy, but if I were on that jury there's no way I'd vote guilty based on the evidence so far reported.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 5, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    The court system is set up to have our clients be innocent until proven guilty. I presume he is innocent and I want to see how the trial plays out before I make my judgement on his innocence.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    June 5, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    A defense attorney is always going to say the evidence is flimsy, even if there is a confession, photos, and DNA

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    June 5, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    I knew Nate from running cross country with him for 4 years. I was shocked when he was accused of these things, because it didn't seem like him at all. Maybe I'm wrong, but this article stating the evidence is flimsy only makes me wonder if the witch hunt was a bit to eager to pin this on someone. But I'll wait to see all of the evidence before making assumptions either way.