N.H. judge says she closes eyes, but doesn't sleep in court

N.H. judge says she closes eyes, but doesn't sleep in court By Associated Press Friday, February 10, 2006 - Updated: 05:04 PM EST C ONCORD, N.H. - A Rockingham County judge accused of dozing off during a sexual ... Full Story
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I was on the jury

Plymouth, NH

#1 Feb 13, 2006
I was on the Spinnar case. Coffey was NOT asleep, she was infact active in the courtroom. Spinnar got a sentance of about 40 years for sexually assaulting his step daughter. The freaks new wife is bithing because he did get slap on the wrist.
melissa spinner

Dover, NH

#2 Feb 14, 2006
You were on the Jury? That is a scary scary thought. You cant even spell. did you know that his ex-wife made the same false allegations in her first divorce? Did you know that his arrest warrent was obtained illegally? Did you know that the alleged victims written statement to the police is nothing like the story she told on the stand? Wow I am horrified that another human beings life was in the hands of someone who can not even spell simple words like sentence or bitching. Thank You for posting this though it will serve helpful at the new trial. Coffey was absolutly nodding off. How do you explain the 7 people who have all witnessed this gross abuse of our judicial system? Most of whom won their cases before her. How do you explain that? Your obviously not to with it, I mean come on my 8 year old can spell and type better than you. If their is a hell, you will most definitly end up their. Our jury sucked! They did not do their job as jurors and in fact this post will be added to our claim of jury misconduct.Be careful in calling me a liar, because you are also calling the other jurors liars and the reverend and 5 members of his church and the several other people who have also seen the judge's misconduct.
melissa spinner

Dover, NH

#3 Feb 14, 2006
In the same jury poll that mentions witnessing the judge sleeping, a juror also says and I quote that “she had “a lot of doubts” about the guilt of the defendant.”

This jury was instructed several times that if they had ANY doubt they can not find the defendant guilty.

I've always thought that "reasonable doubt" amounted to reasonable protection against horrible miscarriages of justice. It's a good standard. It's a legal way of stating the Founding Fathers creed -- that we would rather see a hundred guilty men go free than one innocent man go to prison

Also in the jury poll another juror says that “it was a he said/she said case, not that he said anything.” Then the same Juror says:“if he was innocent, I think he should have testified” and “I know I wasn’t supposed to think that.”

And yet another juror says “he was dismayed at the way the law is written” when asked what he ment he said “it was disturbing to think that someone could tomorrow accuse him of sexual misconduct and they don’t have to have physical proof.”

The highest and best function of the jury is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens guilty of breaking the law, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical prosecutions and bad laws imposed by a power-hungry government.

People need to realize jurors are untrained laymen:
Jurors are not required to carry any kind of degree, they are not required to have a certain I.Q, they are not even required to have any knowledge of the law. Jurors are people just like you and I. Some jurors might take their duty seriously, while others like in the Spinner case may be watching the Judge sleep and not upholding their duty.

Never an admittion of guilt, No medical evidence, No physical evidence and No witnesses. Having said that, Is hearsay enough?
If it was your husband, brother, father or friend accused of such a horrific crime would hearsay be enough to take their life away?
In New Hampshire it is.

Sentenced to 23-46 years, In a case of he said/she said. Not that he said anything.
Something is very wrong here.
melissa spinner

Dover, NH

#4 Feb 14, 2006
"You state that you are my judge. I am not aware that you are such; but I charge you take heed and do not judge me wrongfully, as in such case you will place your soul in great jeopardy. "
just reading through this

North Providence, RI

#5 Feb 14, 2006
I just want to point out that in Melissa Spinner's first response to "I was on the jury" she made fun of her spelling, yet it seems that she dosn't know the difference between there, their and they're.
Noticed

Santa Ana, CA

#6 Feb 14, 2006
She also can't spell or punctuate:

cant
warrent
absolutly
definitly
ment
admittion

(I won't list the grammatical errors, and I probably skipped over a few misspelled words).
Noticed

Santa Ana, CA

#7 Feb 14, 2006
melissa spinner wrote:
"You state that you are my judge. I am not aware that you are such; but I charge you take heed and do not judge me wrongfully, as in such case you will place your soul in great jeopardy. "
Oh, like you judged the poster?
melissa spinner

Dover, NH

#8 Feb 14, 2006
This is not a pissing contest about spelling or punctuation, I was not making fun of anyone only stating a fact that the "poster" is not someone who I would want to put in charge of my life. I am okay with the fact that I am not a writer, but I am not sitting on a jury destroying lives either.
spanky

Worcester, MA

#9 Feb 15, 2006
Before you go ripping someone a new one, you might want to learn how to spell yourself (your quote below). You might also want to attend an anger management class also. He got what he truly deserved, so now go get a job.
If their is a hell, you will most definitly end up their.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#10 Feb 15, 2006
Spanky,
I am not sure why I am coming across as angry.. I am not intending to. How do you know what he deserved? Why am I going to hell? all I did was out the sleeping judge and now I am going to hell??? Wow perhaps you spanky are the one who needs anger management. I am amazed at how many people are able to sit in judgment of someone else without having all the facts before them. I would think people would want to make an educated comment instead of just spouting off at the mouth without any facts to back up what they say.
Its your hell you burn in it. I dont believe in hell. I dont need a made up devil to blame my sins on, I accept full responibility for everthing and anything I do. Thanks for the invite though.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#11 Feb 15, 2006
P.S I have 2 jobs. Why would you think I am un-employed?
Again another uninformed comment. Amazes me, truely amazes me.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#12 Feb 16, 2006
The Power of One Child

Larry Ward

We usually think of children as being immature, with a limited ability to sway the thinking of adults. We believe that adults usually have the experience to determine what is best for children, and what is right and wrong. That is the traditional way society has approached minors. In fact, the common thinking of previous generations was that children were to be "seen and not heard." Now, children are dominating society.

Most people know that children usually lie if it benefits their situation. Each of us can recall instances in our lives when we, as kids, lied in order to avoid trouble.“I didn’t do it!” or “It wasn’t me!” was the usual response we gave whenever the superior adult questioned us about a wrongdoing. That kind of lie was expected, and the child knew that if adults believed his lie, he would avoid consequences. So, children viewed lying as a means of avoiding trouble, at least in the short term.

How times have changed! There is dangerous thinking rampant in our society today. It disputes the time-proven belief that children will lie whenever it suits their purpose. The child service agencies have a policy that children do not lie about child sex abuse. The media have spread this mistaken belief, so much of the public also believes it. As a result, youngsters are falsely accusing innocent authority figures of sex abuse and getting away with it.

Today, the child abuse hysteria is so wide-spread that even when evidence or responsible witnesses prove the child is lying, society believes the child, and completely ignores the cries of the innocent adult.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#13 Feb 16, 2006
Continued:
My case is an example:

I recently was forced to endure a very specific kind of hell known only to innocent people falsely accused of child sex abuse. I was one of the fortunate few, in that I was permitted to testify at my own Grand Jury Hearing, and was not indicted. It is extremely rare to testify at your own Grand Jury and it is even rarer to walk out, a free man. The Grand Jury is a tool of the prosecutor, and Grand Juries almost always indict.

Why did I have to go through that terrible experience?

While substituting in the fourth grade of a local elementary school, I was accused of improperly touching a child. As it turned out, this little girl was a known liar and troublemaker. The police report made that clear, as did a friend who taught in that school. The police notes revealed that this youngster had behavior issues in her family setting as well as in the classroom. Yet, the police and the Child Protective Services (CPS) agency in my state believed her without question, even with her history, and even when her testimony was riddled with blatant lies and deception.

How in the world can society and the court system that has traditionally rewarded and honored the truth, permit this kind of thing to happen? In all reality, I do not know the answer. I can, however, speculate.

Here is what happens in a society that has lost its center and its balance because of fear of child sex abuse:

All of the accused are thrown into the same guilty pot, stirred up, and then convicted. This is too often based on speculation, only. It is done just in case the accused person is guilty, so that he or she cannot re-offend. This happens in spite of the fact that at least 10% of all convicted sex offenders, according to the latest research, are completely innocent.

Guilty until proven innocent!

Children, so the thinking goes, must at all costs be protected, so almost everyone accused of child sex abuse is assumed guilty until proven innocent.

I experienced that exact scenario. I was facing a second-degree felony with punishment of two to twenty years for allegedly touching this child inappropriately. This act supposedly took place in full view, in a classroom full of fourth graders.

No one from the school or the district ever once contacted me about the alleged incident. No one asked my explanation. The police never investigated my side. I was left dangling without a clue as to what was happening, while the school, police and CPS coddled the accuser. The authorities blindly believed the child, and I was left to fend for myself.

One child has enormous power

Consider for a moment the title of this article. A child has enormous power when accusing someone of sexual abuse. This nine-year old child caused me so much emotional distress that at one point, death appeared to be the better option over living with the horror of those accusations.

She kept me from sleeping for days on end. She caused me to seek psychological counseling. She created fear in the hearts of my family. She caused me to cower at the thought of ever teaching again, which was my one true calling in life. She caused me to be repulsed by children, the very ones to whom I had dedicated my life. She completely changed the direction in which my life was proceeding. And, finally, she has cost me thousands and thousands of dollars in legal, psychological and medical expenses, funds that I was relying on to provide a secure future in retirement.

One child has immense power. She or he can lie and be believed. She or he can manipulate societal thinking. And, worst of all, she or he can shatter the lives of the falsely accused.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#14 Feb 16, 2006
The Power of One Child

Larry Ward

We usually think of children as being immature, with a limited ability to sway the thinking of adults. We believe that adults usually have the experience to determine what is best for children, and what is right and wrong. That is the traditional way society has approached minors. In fact, the common thinking of previous generations was that children were to be "seen and not heard." Now, children are dominating society.

Most people know that children usually lie if it benefits their situation. Each of us can recall instances in our lives when we, as kids, lied in order to avoid trouble.“I didn’t do it!” or “It wasn’t me!” was the usual response we gave whenever the superior adult questioned us about a wrongdoing. That kind of lie was expected, and the child knew that if adults believed his lie, he would avoid consequences. So, children viewed lying as a means of avoiding trouble, at least in the short term.

How times have changed! There is dangerous thinking rampant in our society today. It disputes the time-proven belief that children will lie whenever it suits their purpose. The child service agencies have a policy that children do not lie about child sex abuse. The media have spread this mistaken belief, so much of the public also believes it. As a result, youngsters are falsely accusing innocent authority figures of sex abuse and getting away with it.

Today, the child abuse hysteria is so wide-spread that even when evidence or responsible witnesses prove the child is lying, society believes the child, and completely ignores the cries of the innocent adult.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#15 Feb 16, 2006
My case is an example:

I recently was forced to endure a very specific kind of hell known only to innocent people falsely accused of child sex abuse. I was one of the fortunate few, in that I was permitted to testify at my own Grand Jury Hearing, and was not indicted. It is extremely rare to testify at your own Grand Jury and it is even rarer to walk out, a free man. The Grand Jury is a tool of the prosecutor, and Grand Juries almost always indict.

Why did I have to go through that terrible experience?

While substituting in the fourth grade of a local elementary school, I was accused of improperly touching a child. As it turned out, this little girl was a known liar and troublemaker. The police report made that clear, as did a friend who taught in that school. The police notes revealed that this youngster had behavior issues in her family setting as well as in the classroom. Yet, the police and the Child Protective Services (CPS) agency in my state believed her without question, even with her history, and even when her testimony was riddled with blatant lies and deception.

How in the world can society and the court system that has traditionally rewarded and honored the truth, permit this kind of thing to happen? In all reality, I do not know the answer. I can, however, speculate.

Here is what happens in a society that has lost its center and its balance because of fear of child sex abuse:

All of the accused are thrown into the same guilty pot, stirred up, and then convicted. This is too often based on speculation, only. It is done just in case the accused person is guilty, so that he or she cannot re-offend. This happens in spite of the fact that at least 10% of all convicted sex offenders, according to the latest research, are completely innocent.

Guilty until proven innocent!

Children, so the thinking goes, must at all costs be protected, so almost everyone accused of child sex abuse is assumed guilty until proven innocent.

I experienced that exact scenario. I was facing a second-degree felony with punishment of two to twenty years for allegedly touching this child inappropriately. This act supposedly took place in full view, in a classroom full of fourth graders.

No one from the school or the district ever once contacted me about the alleged incident. No one asked my explanation. The police never investigated my side. I was left dangling without a clue as to what was happening, while the school, police and CPS coddled the accuser. The authorities blindly believed the child, and I was left to fend for myself.

One child has enormous power

Consider for a moment the title of this article. A child has enormous power when accusing someone of sexual abuse. This nine-year old child caused me so much emotional distress that at one point, death appeared to be the better option over living with the horror of those accusations.

She kept me from sleeping for days on end. She caused me to seek psychological counseling. She created fear in the hearts of my family. She caused me to cower at the thought of ever teaching again, which was my one true calling in life. She caused me to be repulsed by children, the very ones to whom I had dedicated my life. She completely changed the direction in which my life was proceeding. And, finally, she has cost me thousands and thousands of dollars in legal, psychological and medical expenses, funds that I was relying on to provide a secure future in retirement.

One child has immense power. She or he can lie and be believed. She or he can manipulate societal thinking. And, worst of all, she or he can shatter the lives of the falsely accused.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#16 Feb 16, 2006
Sorry about the last post of Larry's article I mistakenly posted it twice
Victim

Salem, NH

#17 Feb 16, 2006
Its funny how you have friends that look your stuff up for you on the internet and yet come across this i am not here to talk to melissa I just need to say that wat he did and the 23 to 46 years he got dont compare from the time i was 8 years old to 13 Yea i disagree with a lot of things wit my mom but this isnt about hher this was me doing the right thing making sure hes paying and not me i couldnt keep hurting you will never understand. I no wat happened and so doesnt don. as for the case against my dad, at 2 i came back from my dads wit blood in my diaper. I had taken a bath with my 6 year old brother. Please i am begging you stop the lies
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#18 Feb 16, 2006
Save it for the new trial Cathy.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#19 Feb 16, 2006
The S.A.I.D. Syndrome
Sexual Allegations in Divorce
Allen Cowling - Cowling Investigations, Inc.

You have accessed one of the many pages here at the Cowling Investigations, False Allegation Defense Website. Our main links are located at the bottom of this page. For an explanation of how we handle a false allegation defense, see Our Expertise, We Can Help.


False allegations of sexual abuse have become so wide spread in this country during divorce that they have been given a name; the S.A.I.D. Syndrome - Sexual Allegations in Divorce.

When a sexual allegation of any kind is made, a very necessary beginning strategy for professionals is to regard their role as clinician-investigators, not clinician-therapists. If they perceive that their first and foremost task in intervention is to therapeutically deal with the impact of the experience upon the child, they are then focusing their behavior on treatment. Treatment processes are not consistent with investigative behaviors that demand objectivity, skepticism, and open-mindedness in gathering data from all sources involved in the situation.

An important beginning strategy in the SAID phenomenon is the question sequence for the professional. Of necessity, this consists of an immediate and complete conversation with the custodial parent or presenting adult. Structured interrogation with this person should initially and specifically focus on the following:

Dysfunctional family elements such as a family on the verge of marital breakup.

Divorce activity that has already been started.

Divorce activity that has been unsuccessfully in progress for some time.

Unresolved visitation or custody problems.

Unresolved money issues as it relates to the divorce.

The involvement by the parent(s) in ongoing relationships with others.
Melissa Spinner

Dover, NH

#20 Feb 16, 2006
Any evidences of the aforementioned "red flag" dynamics are the professionals' first clues to the potential of a SAID case. While phenomenon, these are prima facie evidence that a case is a SAID phenomenon, the professional who disregards these first red flags is potentially in error in his/her conclusions.

Normally, there is a most typical pattern that exists in the SAID Syndrome. This includes one or more of the following dynamics:

The allegation almost always surfaces only after separation and legal action between the parents has begun.

There is a history of family dysfunction with resultant unresolved divorce conflict. This usually involves "hidden" underlying issues both spoken and unspoken.

The personality pattern of the female parent often tends to be that of a hysterical personality.

The personality pattern of the male parent tends to be that of the passive-dependent personality.

The child is typically a female under the age of eight who controls the situation. Additionally, this child may show behavioral patterns of verbal exaggerations, excessive willingness to indict, inappropriate affective responses, and inconsistencies in relating the incident(s).

The allegation is first communicated via the custodial parent, usually the mother.

The mother usually takes the child to an "expert" for further examination, assessment, or treatment.

The expert then often communicates to a court or other appropriate authorities a concern and/or "confirmation"of apparent sexual abuse, usually identifying the father as the alleged perpetrator.

This typically causes the court to react to the "expert's" information by acting in a predictably responsible manner, e.g., suspending or terminating visitation, foreclosing on custodial arguments, or in some other way limiting the child-parent interaction.

Professionals are essentially trained to accept at face value allegations or statements made by children. Trainers and specialists who educate the professionals working with children have established this principle. Thus, the historical precedent which shapes perceptions has continued as clinical "truths." To be effective in the SAID situation, the following guidelines should be kept in mind by the professional:

Remain neutral. Maintain an open and objective clinical perception of the situation is the most important first step in guiding one's own behavior in investigating this dilemma.

Be aware of one's own set of biases. Pre-existing personal and/or professional biases, e.g., "children don't lie; it is better to be safe than sorry;" and other over-generalized principles are likely to elicit from the professional a behavioral response that may be more damaging than helpful.

Guard against presumption of guilt. Simply because an allegation is made does not mean that it is automatically true (especially in divorce situations). Objective listening, unbiased inquiry, insightful interviewing, and specialized interrogation do not necessarily exclude the always appropriate professional protocol of sensitivity to the situation and a general empathic appreciation for all parties involved.

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