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NCFM Member Mariposa County Rancher Jerry Cox Receives Favorable Decision in his Federal Lawsuit, Judge Denies False Accuser Ashley Harris Motion to Dismiss then Rules that the Case in Major Parts can Move Forward.

September 29, 2022
By

Ashley Harris with dog

by NCFM

On September 13, 2022, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an Order, denying defendant and false accuser Ashley Harris’ Motion to Dismiss.

Ashley Harris

This cleared the path for Cox’s federal lawsuit to go forward to discovery and deposition. Click on the link below to fora copy of the 34-page decision. It’s well worth the read. A good summary of the opinion on page 31 is below. https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/caedce/1:2019cv01105/359556/166

Jerry Cox

In short, the federal court protected Mr. Cox’s due process, equal protection, and other constitutional claims against Harris, when both the state court and appellate court would not.

Jerry Cox suffers everyday thanks to the trickery of those involved in framing him for crimes not committed. He lost his home, ranch, livestock, equipment, reputation, livelihood and all his savings.

Mariposa officials, employees and others who participated in this horrific scheme have cost the County hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax-payer funded legal fees, which could have been otherwise used for public services, public works, parks and recreation, schools, health and welfare, and fire prevention. It appears this arrogant provincial cabal may also cost the County tens of millions if Mr. Cox wins his lawsuit.

District 3 County Supervisor Marshall Long seems to have taken pleasure in Mr. Cox’s suffering. In this photo of Supervisor Long and the text message he sent to Mr. Cox after Mr. Cox was ordered off his 400-acre ranch, Long said, “… How’s that homelessness working for you?”

Jerry Cox

Aside from Supervisor Longs’ mean spirited, haughty and wholly disrespectful comment about Mr. Cox becoming homeless, it appears Supervisor Long may have profited directly from the framing of Mr. Cox.

Mr. Cox sat in jail for two weeks on trumped up felony charges before he could post bail. He paid $50,000 nonrefundable for a $500,000 bail bond. According to several forms filed with the California Fair Political Practices Commission and at least one Sierra Sun Times newspaper article, in which it says, “On September 20, 2015, Mariposa District 3 Supervisor, Marshal Long and his wife, Robin Tarvin Long, owner of Robin’s Bail Bonds, donated funds to the Mariposa County Student Loan Association”, which shows that Supervisor Long was an owner, had some interest in, or was otherwise associated with the bonding company.

Here is a link to a 1 ½ minute video of Mr. Long describing the case of Mr. Cox where he tries to re-assure the public that the county will be fine, even though the County is being sued for $150,000,000: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=423038314986471&extid=CL-UNK-UNK-UNK-AN_GK0T-GK1C&ref=sharing

In the video, Supervisor Long invited the public to look at the public records. If you are a Mariposa County resident perhaps you should contact him and take him up on his offer. Supervisor Long’s phone number is (209) 966-3222. You can send him an email at  mlong@mariposacounty.org.

However, first, read the court decision linked above, which exposes the extensive maladministration of those records, including the highly questionable if not unlawful use of government and judicial processes, procedures, laws, rules and regulations.

Please note, from that reading alone, it appears impossible one person manipulated it all to create the appearance of correctness. There had to be meetings, planning sessions and various private conversations amongst those involved – something like, The Get Jerry Cabal. All and individually for various reasons, intent on destroying Mr. Cox.

Mariposa County officials and employees involved in framing Mr. Cox need to be criminally charged and prosecuted. They belong in prison, not on the County payroll.

Included below are two articles written by Greg Little, Editor of the Mariposa Gazette, which offer an excellent overview of the case and machinations of some of officials involved. “Cox wins round in federal court” September 22, 2022, and “Federal judge says Cox case can go forward” September 29, 2022.

Cox wins round in federal court

September 22, 2022

By GREG LITTLE Editor

A senior federal judge in Fresno has ruled in favor of local resident Jerry Cox in one aspect of a lawsuit and said another ruling is coming soon.

In the scathing decision handed down by Senior District Judge Anthony W. Ishi of the United States District Court Eastern District of California, the judge ruled a request by a woman who accused local resident Jerry Cox of rape will have to answer to the court.

Cox, whose cases have dragged on for years, is suing Mariposa County as well as Ashley Harris, the woman who falsely accused him of rape and other sex-related crimes; charges that were abruptly dismissed — another issue raised by the federal judge in. the ruling.

No dollar amount was named in the suit by Cox, but speculation is it could be in the millions of dollars — which would be footed by taxpayers in Mariposa County.

Harris was asking the court to drop her part of the case but Ishi had none of it and said she would be part of the court proceedings involving Cox and Mariposa County, including the sheriff’s office.

The tangled legal web for Cox is seemingly a little clearer after the ruling with another ruling from Ishi concerning Mariposa County expected to come in the near future.

The lawsuit actually involves two cases against Cox, one based on Harris’ false claims of rape and the other involving a receivership action taken against Cox by the county — one that eventually led to him losing his vast Bison Creek Ranch located on CYA Road in Mt. Bullion near the airport.

Though the county has maintained from the start the cases are not related, the judge intertwined both of them in his ruling, which was dated Sept. 13.

Trying to unpack all of the issues involved in the cases is a major task and could be one of the reasons the judge said Harris must remain as part of the case.

Harris was asking the court to dismiss the complaint against her but the judge denied that request. In doing so, the judge issued a 34-page opinion on the case, which included more detailed information than has been released in the past.

And the details seem to be aimed directly at Mariposa County, including the sheriff’s office, former Mariposa County District Court Judge Dana Walton and former Mariposa County District Attorney Thomas Cooke, the person who dismissed the felony counts against Cox which could have landed him in prison for the rest of his life.

Cox has argued from the beginning the two cases are related, something the county has adamantly denied.

The judge used great detail in arriving at his decision, including giving specifics about how the sheriff’s office handled the investigation and questioning why Cooke dismissed the case and, further, why the court, with Walton presiding, simply accepted the dismissal without any further information.

Background

In his decision, Ishi said that it was in mid-October of 2015 when Harris contacted Cox on the dating website farmersonly.com. It states Harris came to Mariposa County and stayed at the Bison Creek Ranch where a “dating relationship ensued” between Cox and Harris, the judge wrote.

It stated that on Nov. 13, 2015, Cox asked Harris to vacate a guest cabin she was occupying to make room for paying guests.

“Harris became upset, consumed ‘several alcoholic beverages’ at a bar and went to the California Highway Patrol station to report an alleged rape,” he wrote in the ruling.

At that time, Harris was accompanied by Darlene Windham, who was also staying at the ranch. The document states the CHP officer examined the phone of Harris and it showed “normal correspondence” between her and Cox, but since the alleged rape took place in the county, the officer referred the matter to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the court filing, Harris was initially interviewed by deputy William Atkinson and detective Wesley Smith, who are both named as defendants in the federal case brought by Cox.

The document states that Harris told the officer she had text messages and emails relating to Cox.

“Harris also stated falsely that she had met Cox for the first time on Nov. 1, 2015, through farmersonly.com, and that Cox had raped her, sodomized her an held her against her will from Nov 11-13, 2015,” wrote the judge in the ruling. “Atkinson and Smith did not seek consent from Harris to access messages transmitted through farmersonly.com or Facebook, view her cell phone or download information from her cell phone.”

He added: “Further, they disregarded and mischaracterized, in MCS (sheriff’s office) records, statements by Windham, who informed them that Harris had lied about her alcohol intake on the day of the report; that Harris’s sexual relations with Cox were consensual; and that Harris had never been confined against her will.”

The document further states that Cox was arrested “without a warrant” on Nov. 13, 2015, and booked into the Mariposa County jail for rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, oral copulation, sodomy, intimidating a witness and criminal threats.

It states Cox was interviewed and had his cell phone seized by the sheriff’s office while he was in jail. Cox denied the accusations against him and said he had met Harris weeks before.

“Cox remained in jail for two weeks because Atkinson filed a motion to increase bail to $500,000,” the judge wrote in the decision.

The judge noted “several events” took place on Nov. 14, 2015, including Atkinson swearing on an affidavit there was “probable cause” to search Cox’s person and the ranch. It states the affidavit was “based on Harris’s version of events and did not reflect the information provided by Windham.”

Second, the judge wrote, the sheriff’s office conducted a search of Bison Creek Ranch that “showed there were multiple windows in the cabin where Harris was supposedly confined incommunicado that could be opened from the inside, that the door to the cabin could be unlocked from the inside; and that the cabin had cell phone service, as well as a functioning landline.”

Third, the document states, Atkinson informed Harris that he needed her cell phone to obtain a record of her conversations with Cox, “but Atkinson did not download — or otherwise make a record of — the contents of Harris’s phone.”

Just two days later, on Nov. 16, 2015, Mariposa County District Attorney Thomas Cooke and Mariposa County Deputy District Attorney Gina Florick brought an 11-count felony criminal complaint against Cox and on Feb. 22, 2016, Cooke amended the complaint to allege 16 separate felonies with enhancements.

Those charges, if proven, could have landed Cox in jail for life.

Nine days later, the document states, on Nov. 25, 2015, Harris was interviewed by Smith and Florick. The document states Florick photographed a section of the text messages between Harris and Cox on Harris’s cell phone, but the cell phone was not retained or downloaded and Florick did not photograph — or otherwise make a record of — exculpatory text messages.

Cox, in the meantime, was demanding copies of all text or other messages in the possession of the district attorney’s office but it was many months later when he filed for an order to get those copies. On April 21, 2016, Mariposa County responded “that the material in question was not available,” adding it was because the Department of Justice was still analyzing the phone of Harris.

More details

The court document states in May 2016, the Mariposa County Superior Court did “endorse” a subpoena for the phone of Harris’s mother, Krystal McElree, asking for messages relating to Harris’s time at the ranch.

“McElree dodged the subpoena and Mariposa County made no attempt of its own to obtain evidence from her even though phone records showed that McElree engaged in several phone calls with Harris during the period of Harris’s supposed imprisonment.”

The document stated that in June 2016, the download of Harris’s phone was provided to Cox’s defense team and it contained “no less than 22 text messages between Harris and Cox during the period Harris claimed to have been held against her will in the guest cabin and numerous messages evidencing an ongoing consensual sexual relationship between Harris and Cox.”

“The phone records, however, had not been fully preserved and, consequently the messages were not complete, containing only the first few words of any given message,” the judge wrote.

It further stated that in August 2016, Cox was given permission to subpoena messages from Verizon Communications, Facebook, Inc. and farmersonly.com.

“Mariposa County had not previously sought to obtain messages from these providers,” the document states.

Although it stated that Verizon destroys the content of messages three to five days after transmission, the records did show “that 166 text messages were sent and received by Harris between Nov. 10 and Nov. 13, 2015.”

In October of 2016, the document states the sheriff’s office executed a civil search warrant on Cox’s property, based on 101 code violations alleged by the county.

“The warrant was based on an affidavit containing false allegations about Cox in connection with the criminal case,” the document states in the recent court filing.

On Dec. 2, 2016, the county issued a “Notice and Order to Repair or Abate” based on the search of the ranch.

“The Department of Justice finally downloaded Harris’s cell phone on Dec. 8, 2016 — more than a year after the alleged rape and approximately one week after the civil search of Bison Creek Ranch supposedly turned up 101 ‘dangerous violations,’” the document states. “That download was to be withheld from Cox’s counsel for an additional three months.”

It was March 13, 2017, when the county filed a complaint for abatement and receivership against Cox based on the alleged 101 violations.

On June 2, 2017, Harris testified under oath in a separate worker’s compensation case that she had never been a victim of a sexual assault or abuse.

Seventeen days later, on June 19, the county filed a motion for the appointment of a receiver in connection with the code violations.

Here’s what the judge wrote next in the document: “… on July 17, 2017, Mariposa Superior Court put Bison Creek Ranch into a corrupt receivership that culminated in the sale of Bison Creek Ranch at less than half of its market value.”

Less than a month later, on Aug. 14, 2017, all criminal charges “were instantaneously dismissed at the request of the Mariposa County District Attorney ..,” it states.

Later in the document, the judge points out that Walton, the presiding judge at the time, “signed an order granting the request, without written explanation or discussion of any kind, on the very day the request was made.”

The court documents go into great detail and cite case law concerning the motion to dismiss filed by Harris. It also questions why the state appellate court reached the conclusion there was “no evidence” as to the “favorable termination” of the criminal case against Cox.

The rest of the long paragraph in the court document reads as follows:

“Relevant records credited by both the trial court and the appellate court show, at a minimum, that Cox was charged with some of the most heinous crimes imaginable; that Cox denied all charges against him; that phone records compiled and maintained by MCS (sheriff’s office) itself squarely contradicted Harris’s accusations; that Mariposa County sought dismissal of all charges against Cox, without explanation, in a boilerplate, three-line filing after nearly two years of prosecuting the case; and that the trial court granted the dismissal the same day, without explanation of any kind. Not only does that strike the court as ‘evidence’ bearing on the ‘favorable termination’ of the criminal case, but in the court’s view, the abrupt dismissal of a horrifying sexual assault case without explanation at the request of the prosecution is sufficient for a jury to infer that Mariposa County had come to the conclusion that it did not have a case against Cox.”

The court further states the “most black and white problem” for Harris from a “due process” standpoint has to do with a June 2, 2017, deposition transcript.

It states the trial court “excluded” the transcript “solely for the lack of authentication.”

The judge wrote that “was improper because there was every indication that the transcript could be authenticated prior to trial.”

“In ruling as it did, the trial court placed an undue burden on Cox by effectively requiring him to resolve the anonymous third-party objection to production of a certified transcript …,” the document states.

The federal judge again referenced “the abrupt and unexplained dismissal of the two-year sex-crime case against him occurred just two months or so after Harris gave sworn testimony that (aside, possibly from an event in 2010 and an event involving a stalker neighbor in Rohnert Park) she had never been the victim of a sexual assault.”

Here’s what the judge wrote in his conclusion:

“Harris has not met her burden to show that the claims against her in this action involve the same primary right as the state law malicious prosecution claim in the state court action. Further, the court finds that adjudication of the state court action did not satisfy the due process requirements applicable to pre-trial anti-SLAPP motions, as recognized by the California Supreme Court and the California Court of Appeal. For each of those independently sufficient reasons, Harris’s motion to dismiss the FAC (first amended complaint) will be denied.”

He further states that a pending motion to dismiss by the county, including Atkinson and Smith, “will be addressed in the court’s forthcoming order on that motion.”

In the end, he denied the claim by Harris and said she “shall” answer to the complaint “at the time and manner” set forth in the “forthcoming order on the county defendants’ pending motion to dismiss the FAC.”

The judge did not indicate exactly when that order might be issued. It still remains unclear on the timeframe for the federal case, though a tentative hearing date has set in October.

Federal judge says Cox case can go forward

Thursday, September 29, 2022

By GREG LITTLE Editor

Nine days later, the document states, on Nov. 25, 2015, Harris was interviewed by Smith and Florick. The document states Florick photographed a section of the text messages between Harris and Cox on Harris’s cell phone, but the cell phone was not retained or downloaded and Florick did not photograph — or otherwise make a record of — exculpatory text messages.

Cox, in the meantime, was demanding copies of all text or other messages in the possession of the district attorney’s office but it was many months later when he filed for an order to get those copies. On April 21, 2016, Mariposa County responded “that the material in question was not available,” adding it was because the Department of Justice was still analyzing the phone of Harris.

More details

The court document states in May 2016, the Mariposa County Superior Court did “endorse” a subpoena for the phone of Harris’s mother, Krystal McElree, asking for messages relating to Harris’s time at the ranch.

“McElree dodged the subpoena and Mariposa County made no attempt of its own to obtain evidence from her even though phone records showed that McElree engaged in several phone calls with Harris during the period of Harris’s supposed imprisonment.”

The document stated that in June 2016, the download of Harris’s phone was provided to Cox’s defense team and it contained “no less than 22 text messages between Harris and Cox during the period Harris claimed to have been held against her will in the guest cabin and numerous messages evidencing an ongoing consensual sexual relationship between Harris and Cox.”

“The phone records, however, had not been fully preserved and, consequently the messages were not complete, containing only the first few words of any given message,” the judge wrote.

It further stated that in August 2016, Cox was given permission to subpoena messages from Verizon Communications, Facebook, Inc. and farmersonly.com.

“Mariposa County had not previously sought to obtain messages from these providers,” the document states.

Although it stated that Verizon destroys the content of messages three to five days after transmission, the records did show “that 166 text messages were sent and received by Harris between Nov. 10 and Nov. 13, 2015.”

In October of 2016, the document states the sheriff’s office executed a civil search warrant on Cox’s property, based on 101 code violations alleged by the county.

“The warrant was based on an affidavit containing false allegations about Cox in connection with the criminal case,” the document states in the recent court filing.

On Dec. 2, 2016, the county issued a “Notice and Order to Repair or Abate” based on the search of the ranch.

“The Department of Justice finally downloaded Harris’s cell phone on Dec. 8, 2016 — more than a year after the alleged rape and approximately one week after the civil search of Bison Creek Ranch supposedly turned up 101 ‘dangerous violations,’” the document states. “That download was to be withheld from Cox’s counsel for an additional three months.”

It was March 13, 2017, when the county filed a complaint for abatement and receivership against Cox based on the alleged 101 violations.

On June 2, 2017, Harris testified under oath in a separate worker’s compensation case that she had never been a victim of a sexual assault or abuse.

Seventeen days later, on June 19, the county filed a motion for the appointment of a receiver in connection with the code violations.

Here’s what the judge wrote next in the document: “… on July 17, 2017, Mariposa Superior Court put Bison Creek Ranch into a corrupt receivership that culminated in the sale of Bison Creek Ranch at less than half of its market value.”

Less than a month later, on Aug. 14, 2017, all criminal charges “were instantaneously dismissed at the request of the Mariposa County District Attorney ..,” it states.

Later in the document, the judge points out that Walton, the presiding judge at the time, “signed an order granting the request, without written explanation or discussion of any kind, on the very day the request was made.”

The court documents go into great detail and cite case law concerning the motion to dismiss filed by Harris. It also questions why the state appellate court reached the conclusion there was “no evidence” as to the “favorable termination” of the criminal case against Cox.

The rest of the long paragraph in the court document reads as follows:

“Relevant records credited by both the trial court and the appellate court show, at a minimum, that Cox was charged with some of the most heinous crimes imaginable; that Cox denied all charges against him; that phone records compiled and maintained by MCS (sheriff’s office) itself squarely contradicted Harris’s accusations; that Mariposa County sought dismissal of all charges against Cox, without explanation, in a boilerplate, three-line filing after nearly two years of prosecuting the case; and that the trial court granted the dismissal the same day, without explanation of any kind. Not only does that strike the court as ‘evidence’ bearing on the ‘favorable termination’ of the criminal case, but in the court’s view, the abrupt dismissal of a horrifying sexual assault case without explanation at the request of the prosecution is sufficient for a jury to infer that Mariposa County had come to the conclusion that it did not have a case against Cox.”

The court further states the “most black and white problem” for Harris from a “due process” standpoint has to do with a June 2, 2017, deposition transcript.

It states the trial court “excluded” the transcript “solely for the lack of authentication.”

The judge wrote that “was improper because there was every indication that the transcript could be authenticated prior to trial.”

“In ruling as it did, the trial court placed an undue burden on Cox by effectively requiring him to resolve the anonymous third-party objection to production of a certified transcript …,” the document states.

The federal judge again referenced “the abrupt and unexplained dismissal of the two-year sex-crime case against him occurred just two months or so after Harris gave sworn testimony that (aside, possibly from an event in 2010 and an event involving a stalker neighbor in Rohnert Park) she had never been the victim of a sexual assault.”

Here’s what the judge wrote in his conclusion:

“Harris has not met her burden to show that the claims against her in this action involve the same primary right as the state law malicious prosecution claim in the state court action. Further, the court finds that adjudication of the state court action did not satisfy the due process requirements applicable to pre-trial anti-SLAPP motions, as recognized by the California Supreme Court and the California Court of Appeal. For each of those independently sufficient reasons, Harris’s motion to dismiss the FAC (first amended complaint) will be denied.”

He further states that a pending motion to dismiss by the county, including Atkinson and Smith, “will be addressed in the court’s forthcoming order on that motion.”

In the end, he denied the claim by Harris and said she “shall” answer to the complaint “at the time and manner” set forth in the “forthcoming order on the county defendants’ pending motion to dismiss the FAC.”

The judge did not indicate exactly when that order might be issued. It still remains unclear on the time frame for the federal case, though a tentative hearing date has set in October.

national coalition for men

NCFM Member Mariposa County Rancher Jerry Cox Receives Favorable Decision in his Federal Lawsuit, Judge Denies False Accuser Ashley Harris Motion to Dismiss then Rules that the Case in Major Parts can Move Forward.

 

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