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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Alleged prosecutorial misconduct by Maine ADA Mary Kellett has gone international.  In this article, Russia Today reports on allegations of ethical violations against Kellett, the Vladek Filler case and disciplinary proceedings against Kellett by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar (Russia Today, 9/1/11). Complaints against Kellett cover almost a decade.  In all the cases, Kellett brought charges of sexual wrongdoing against men.  Often she did so with little or no credible evidence to back up the charges.  Withholding exculpatory evidence, tampering with witnesses and improper argumentation are also staples of Kellett's conduct in the courtroom.  The Board has received a petition signed by over 1,100 people calling for Kellett's disbarment. It's also received a recommendation by its counsel saying that probable cause exists to discipline Kellett. But local media have so far been at pains to defend Kellett, mostly by ignoring the multiple allegations against her.  It'll be interesting to see how the Russia Todaypiece affects future coverage not only of Vladek Filler's case but also Mary Kellett's disciplinary proceedings.  The article gets a few facts wrong, but there's no doubt about how it - and therefore how many Russian and international readers - view Kellett and the plight of men in Ellsworth, Maine. The article repeatedly calls the scandal a "witch hunt" and the "Rape Hysteria of Ellsworth."  To an audience that only 20 years ago lived under the Soviet communist system of justice, the concept of powerful prosecutors, unanswerable to the electorate, imprisoning people with little evidence of guilt must feel eerily familiar.  Indeed, Mary Kellett can be seen to exemplify what Italian communist Antonio Gramsci called the "long march through the bureaucracy."  By that he meant that any group seeking political power has to populate governmental bureaucracies with its people.  Bureaucrats have considerable power to interpret laws as they see fit and Gramsci understood that the politicization of those countless interpretations is vital to consolidating power by the particular group. So it's one thing to parade in the streets waving signs that read "All Men Are Rapists."  It's another thing altogether to empower that political view with real prosecutions of real men in real courtrooms with the real possibility of prison darkening their horizon.  My guess is that Mary Kellett drank that Kool-Aid a long time ago and it still poisons her mind. I can say the same about the female bureaucrat in the Department of Education who promulgated the new and highly controversial regulation lowering the standard of proof colleges and universities are required to use when a student or school employee is charged with rape or sexual assault.  That standard is now "preponderance of the evidence," the lowest standard of proof in any judicial setting.  Professors and students across the country are crying 'foul' but so far the regulation is still in place. What Mary Kellett is doing in the criminal arena, the new regulation is doing in the academic one.  The two have similar goals; Kellett seeks to put as many men behind bars as possible; the DOE regulation seeks to damage the academic record of as many men as possible.  Both are virulently misandric.  Both seek to expand the concept of due process of law to include police-state tactics with which Russian readers of Russia Today must be all too familiar. Thanks to Tatyana for the heads-up.

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