May 9, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
The extent to which the enormous power of the state can be used in the service of false allegations of domestic abuse made for the purpose of gaining an advantage in custody cases is on full display in the complaints by the Maine State Bar against Ellsworth prosecutor Mary Kellett. The case had been reported on numerous times by numerous sites, but seems to be coming to a head. The latest is that the Overseers of the State Bar have filed a complaint against Kellett seeking discipline against her by the Bar. She will file her response and the case will be heard and decided by a single member of the State Supreme Court.
As exhaustively detailed in the past, Kellett took allegations by Ligia Filler, wife of Vladek Filler, that he had sexually abused her and sought a conviction despite the fact that (a) the charges had been made in the course of child custody litigation, (b) the charges were unsubstantiated by any evidence apart from Ligia's word, (c) Ligia Filler was at the time mentally and emotionally unstable and (d) Ligia Filler had previously made unsubstantiated claims against Vladek.
Now, the canons of ethics for prosecutors demand that they assess all allegations of criminal wrongdoing for probable cause and decline to charge if there is none. Kellett ignored that canon and others. She took the case to trial and initially won a conviction, but was able to do so only by recourse to plainly unethical actions and others that violated the Maine Rules of Evidence. Most of that is detailed in the Bar Counsel's complaint. Despite the fact that gaining the upper hand in the custody case was Ligia's motive for making up the charges in the first place, Kellett objected to the introduction of any evidence regarding the custody case, and the judge agreed. Nevertheless, Kellett argued to the jury that there'd been no custody case and therefore that couldn't have been Ligia's motive. In short, she lied to the jury and violated the court's order.
Perhaps worse, Kellett refused to turn over important and possibly exculpatory evidence to Vladek's defense counsel. Attorney Daniel Pileggi requested numerous documents, audio and video recordings, statements by Ligia and Vladek Filler, police statements and the like as part of his preparation for trial. He requested these by letter on several different occasions, but Kellett simply ignored him, neither providing the requested information nor even acknowledging the request. Pileggi persisted. He filed motions. They were granted. Kellett ignored the court's order to produce the material. Finally, Pileggi simply subpoenaed the documents from the police. Amazingly, instead of simply complying with the subpoena (which is, after all, a court order, failure to comply with which constituted contempt of court) the police officer asked Kellett what he should do. Her response? Ignore it. And so he did.
All of that of course is the most egregious misconduct. When brought to light, the trial judge declared a mistrial which was upheld by an appellate court. Tried a second time, this time armed with the information Kellett had intentionally withheld, Vladek was acquitted of all the serious charges and only convicted of the misdemeanor of pouring a glass of water on his wife. Of course there was no evidence that he'd done so apart from her say-so, but as usual, that's sufficient. Amazingly, he was sentenced to serve 21 days in jail.
In the mean time, the family court had seen the obvious - that Ligia Filler was an unstable and abusive mother, whose allegations against Vladek were entirely without substance and made for the sole purpose of trying to separate a decent, loving father from his children. That attempt failed and Vladek was granted sole custody that he happily maintains to this day.
But Vladek Filler was never going to be satisfied with just a misdemeanor on his record and custody of his kids. He filed ethics charges against Kellett, something someone should have done long ago. Now, state bar associations are charged with maintaining discipline over their members which amounts to the fox judging other foxes. Unsurprisingly, a lawyer has to behave outrageously to be disciplined by a state bar. And that desire to protect their own was on full display at the first hearing into Vladek's charges against Kellett.
To begin with, the judge who sentenced Vladek to serve 21 days in jail, just so happened to schedule his jail time for the exact period in which the Kellett hearing would be held. What a coincidence! That meant that Vladek couldn't communicate with the state Bar Counsel and had to show up for the hearing in jail garb and fully manacled. To top it off, when he attempted to introduce into evidence a huge stack of information demonstrating a long pattern of prosecutorial abuse by Kellett, the Bar attempted to prevent it. Carla Bossano, Kellett's boss, was present and attempted to have a guard physically remove Vladek from the witness stand before he could introduce his evidence. The attempt failed and the evidence was introduced, but the pro-attorney/anti-complainant nature of the affair was clear for all to see.
Eventually however, the Bar Counsel recommended that Kellett be disciplined for her multiple and severe violations of the canons of ethics, the rules of evidence and court orders. We'll soon find out if she will be.
To read the allegations against Kellett by the Overseers of the Maine State Bar is to receive one message loudly and clearly: for Mary Kellett, this was business as usual. Most obviously, time and again, over the course of a year, she simply ignored the requests for information from Vladek's attorney. She didn't call him, didn't write him a letter, didn't file a response in court. Nothing. When he got a court order, she ignored that too. Once he'd been convicted, Vladek himself asked the police for the same documents, audio and video tapes, etc. and they gave it all to him. In other words, Kellett could have turned the information over to Pileggi easily, but she chose not to.
More outrageously still, she actively intervened to stop them from doing so when the police asked if they should turn the material over. The former is a clear violation of the code of ethics governing prosecutors, but the latter is a crime. It's tampering with a witness and Kellett should go to prison for it.
But whatever happens with that matter, it's all too plain that what Mary Kellett did in Vladek Filler's case, she's done countless times before and gotten away with it. She's received no discipline from either courts or her superior, Carla Bassano. Nothing else explains her cavalier dismissal of every one of Pileggi's requests. Nothing else explains her ignoring of the court's order. And nothing else explains (a) why a police officer would ask her whether to comply with a subpoena and (b) her casual instructions to him to ignore it.
And sure enough, she's managed to take to trial allegations of sexual impropriety against men that were every bit as flimsy as those against Vladek Filler. The courts' records are replete with Kellett cases in which a man was tried when there was either no evidence against him or what there was was so patently weak that the charges were dismissed.
Mary Kellett is a woman who will take any charge to trial as long as it's a charge of sexual wrongdoing and it's against a man. The website A Voice for Men reports here that at least three such charges have been dismissed in this year alone, with more doubtless to come. Mary Kellett needs to find a new job. The judge hearing her case should disbar her. Mary Kellett is not a prosecutor, she's a political operative. She's a feminist who never met an innocent man. She's a serial abuser of the power the State of Maine places in her hands.
Finally, it must be noted that Kellett's history of wrongdoing comes against a backdrop of prosecutorial abuse that seems to have reached epidemic proportions. Just last year, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' piece on the "Central Park Five" roiled the waters of public opinion, and rightly so. There, five minors who were entirely innocent of the brutal crime - the rape and beating of a female jogger in New York's Central Park - were coerced into pleading guilty to the crime. No DNA evidence connected them to the crime and their confessions bore little resemblance to the objective facts of the offense. All this was known to prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer, but she went ahead anyway. Meanwhile, the real perpetrator, a serial rapist, walked around free as a bird.
More recently, Brian Banks was released from prison after serving five years for a crime that he not only didn't commit, but that never occurred. A young woman claimed he'd raped her and again, without any evidence, a prosecutor was able to browbeat a young man into pleading guilty. His false accuser was handed almost $1 million as compensation for her "trauma" and, now that she's admitted she made the whole thing up, no one has lifted a finger to get her to pay it back.
Then there was the infamous Duke Lacrosse case. What happened to prosecutor Mike Nifong should happen to Mary Kellett. He did just what she's done - withhold exculpatory evidence and proceed against a defendant on charges for which there's no evidence. Into the bargain, Nifong's complainant bears some resemblance to Ligia Filler in that both are mentally unstable and had clear ulterior motives for leveling the charges they did.
The epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct is far too vast to describe in detail. But suffice it to say that allegations of sex crimes and those of domestic violence play a leading role in it. Those are almost invariably aimed at men, usually fathers. They're often done to gain the upper hand in custody cases and the entire process is enthusiastically supported by feminist organizations and feminist ideology that hold that women rarely lie about abuse and that men are genetically and culturally programmed to abuse. My guess is that Mary Kellett is a true believer of both.
That unholy alliance of state power and feminist ideology constitutes a grave danger to the men of this country, particularly fathers. As such, it likewise constitutes a grave danger to the children of this country because one of its major aims is the removal of children from those fathers. It's a bullet aimed directly at the heart of this society and culture. It barely missed Vladek Filler. Most targeted men aren't so lucky.
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