“Her character is irrelevant,” Androphy said. “The fact that he met with her, the fact that he’s a judge in the court, she was a defendant on trial and they were planning to go out and potentially engage in a sexual affair makes him guilty. Period.”
That’s Houston criminal-defense lawyer, and ABC affiliate KTRK-13’s legal commentator, Joel Androphy, on Judge Donald Jackson’s prosecution.
Joel was my white-collar crime professor 15 years ago in law school. The first real criminal trial I ever watched was one that he tried (against Jay Hileman in Judge Mary Bacon’s court; it was a murder with a .410 shotgun; the defendant got 15 years, if I remember that part correctly). He’s a really smart lawyer.
It’s not hard to figure out what the State has to prove in Judge Jackson’s case. The State has to prove what it alleged in the indictment. The State has alleged, and must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that Judge Jackson
- subjected Ariana Venegas to unwelcome sexual advances, an unwelcome request for sexual favors, or unwelcome verbal conduct of a sexual nature,
- knowing that these advances, this request, or this conduct were unwelcome, and
- made submission to these advances, this request, or this conduct a condition of her enjoyment of her right to a fair trial or favorable disposition of her case
- by offering to get her a different lawyer to get her case dismissed if she would be interested in the defendant and enter into a relationship with him that was more than a one night stand.
The gulf between this and Joel Androphy’s statement of the case is vast. It’s like he’s making a closing argument for the government—a closing argument that is entirely wrong on the law and objectionable.
How does such a smart lawyer get things so very publicly wrong?