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October 28, 2015

Religious Conservative Sex Offenders In The News ... Again

SUTTER COUNTY, Calif.—Since we last caught up with former Religious Right darling Donny Pauling, a lot has happened. For one thing, in early September, he fired his attorney, opting instead to represent himself in his upcoming hearing(s) on 19 counts of unlawful sexual acts, statutory rape and child molestation, on three teenage girls. However, on September 24, Pauling asked Judge Susan E. Green to push back his trial date, which was originally scheduled to begin on September 29, in order to give him more time to prepare his case. Deputy District Attorney Anu Chopra objected to the delay, noting that she had 35 witnesses against Pauling already subpoenaed to testify on that date, all of whom would have to be resubpoenaed, while Pauling claimed to have several witnesses himself, many of whom were "religious leaders who could speak about his character and his behavior around teenage girls," according to reporter Monica Vaughan of the Appeal-Democrat. "He plans to call a psychologist, who would testify Pauling spoke with him in 2011 about an erectile dysfunction that would prevent Pauling from performing some of the acts he is accused of engaging in with underage girls," Vaughan reported. But perhaps those "religious leaders" that would have attested to Pauling's good character were less than anxious to help the child molester, since in the latest development in the case, on October 15, Pauling pled "no contest" to four of the felonies and one of the misdemeanors with which he'd been charged, including the felonies of "oral copulation and having sexual intercourse with a victim 14 years old in 2012, continuing into 2014" and "lewd or lascivious behavior with a girl related to former Sutter County sheriff's Capt. Lewis McElfresh," that was "motivated by an unnatural or abnormal interest in children"; and "a misdemeanor charge of massaging a third [16-year-old] victim's genitals in early 2014." Based on the plea, Judge Green set Pauling's official sentencing for November 12, but at the hearing, as a result of his plea, it was determined that Pauling will serve up to six years in state prison, of which he must serve at least three inside, plus a period of parole of at least three years and possibly for the rest of his life. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life—and may be required to testify against McElfresh, whose case was charged separately from Pauling's. McElfresh faces "five felonies—burglary, arranging a meeting with a minor for the purpose of immoral acts, unlawful sex with a minor, child endangerment and providing a firearm to a convicted felon—and misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a minor," according to the Appeal-Democrat's Andrew Creasey. But in a sense, Pauling is small potatoes compared to the recent guilty plea by former U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Jackass) to charges of having made "dozens of illegally structured bank withdrawals as part of an effort to pay hush money to someone for decades-old misconduct," according to USA TODAY reporter Aamer Madhani. Hastert, it will be recalled, aside from being rabidly anti-porn during his term as "longest-serving Republican House speaker in U.S. history," was one of the primary protectors of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Spank It), the Florida congressman who resigned after it was revealed that he'd been sending emails and sexting (before that word was invented) suggestive messages to congressional pages—all male, oddly enough, and most under 18 years of age. For at least seven months, and possibly as long as 11 years before Foley resigned—sources disagree as to the exact time—Hastert was aware of Foley's sexual predation but said nothing about it to either colleagues or the House Ethics Committee ... and perhaps now we know why. See, those "dozens of illegally structured bank withdrawals" were for payments to someone who's only been identified so far as "Individual A" in order "to conceal sexual misconduct he committed against a male student decades earlier when he worked [as a high school teacher and wrestling coach] at Yorkville [Illinois] High School"—$952,000 worth! And that's allegedly only part of a promised $3.5 million Hastert was to pay to his molestation victim! But although Hastert was charged with a felony for each individual withdrawal, today, he pled guilty to just a single count of bank fraud, which could carry a sentence of five years in federal prison—but under the agreement, Hastert, 73, may serve only the "zero to six months" recommended by federal prosecutor Steven Block, although the judge in the case may reject that paltry punishment when Hastert is sentenced on February 29, 2016. Oh, yeah; and the Los Angeles Times reported last May that, "A top federal law enforcement official, who would not be identified speaking about the ongoing federal case, said investigators also spoke with a second man who raised similar allegations that corroborated what the former student said. The second person was not being paid by Hastert, the official said." But that's the nice thing about reporting on the sexual peccadillos of the "godly right-wing": Just give them a little time and their hypocrisies eventually hit the front pages of the national press—where supporters of sexual speech and sexual freedom will be waiting for them.

 
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