Vanguard Analysis of Ajay Dev’s Appeal, Part I

Dev-2012-1

Three years after the conviction of Ajay Dev for the multiple counts of rape of his adoptive daughter and his sentence of 378 years to state prison, he and his attorney have filed their appeal.

Their appeal attacks both the facts of the case as well as the legal rulings used by Yolo County Judge Timothy Fall that the defense claims denied Ajay Dev of his right to a fair trial.  This includes most notably the inclusion of the alleged victim’s interpretation of a 50-minute pretext call that meandered between English and Nepalese, the judge’s failure to properly instruct the jury on the law, and the judge’s refusal to allow potentially exculpatory evidence.

What follows is a three-part series.  The first part, today’s article, covers the defense’s account of the facts of the case, including critical areas that the court got wrong in the original 2009 trial.  The second part, later this week, will cover the defense’s legal arguments.  And the third part will analyze the case in full.

In the opening salvo, the defense argues that it was a series of events stemming from the Devs’ lack of approval of the adoptive daughter’s sexually active lifestyle and a false date of birth on immigration and adoption forms that ultimately led  the alleged victim in this case to file false rape allegations against Mr. Dev – the day after he interceded, leading to the break-up between the alleged victim (referred to henceforth as AV) and her boyfriend.

The appellate attorney writes:  “At trial, neither AV nor the prosecution were able to explain how AV only got pregnant or had pregnancy scares within a narrow window of time which perfectly coincided with her dating and having sex with older boys behind” the parents’ back.  “Similarly, neither AV nor the prosecution could explain why, given AV’s allegation that Ajay [Dev] raped her approximately 300 to 340 times from ages 15 to 18, AV never got pregnant nor had any pregnancy scares.”

The appeal argues, “The facts highly suggest that AV’s allegations were false.  Had Ajay [Dev] been given a fair trial, these facts would have clearly come to light.   Since he was not given a fair trial, reversal and a new trial are required.”

THE FACTS IN DISPUTE

In the appeal, the defense represents a long interplay where we see mounting tensions between AV and the Devs over her lifestyle and cultural expectations.  In an email, Mrs. Dev wrote to her family back in Nepal: “Ajay and I expect [AV] to follow our rules of not dating or having sex before marriage..”  Moreover, AV violated Nepali cultural expectations, as AV herself noted at trial “in our culture kids don’t get out of the house, especially girls, until they get married.”

Tensions led at that time to allegations of physical abuse by the Devs toward AV, and she accused them of slapping her and being unable to control themselves physically during periods of anger.

This confrontation, building for some time apparently, came to a head on January 31, 2004, as Mr. Dev emailed AV’s current boyfriend and “told him that he must respect the family’s cultural values if he wants to be involved with [AV] romantically.”

The following day, the boyfriend told AV “that he broke up with her because of” Mr. Dev’s email and AV was outraged.

A day after the break up, AV went to the police and, for the first time, accused Mr. Dev of rape.

THE PRETEXT CALL

Of all the issues facing the appeal, one of the most central is that of the pretext call.  Two jurors claim that the phone call was central to their guilt verdict.

Two jurors posted information on a website in response to the article.  One said, “Yes, her testimony was difficult to swallow. If for her testimony alone, he would be a free man. The phone call is what put him where he is now. I am confident that we made the correct decision.”

Another said, “In the pretext call, Ajay admitted to having sex with the victim after she was 18. The exact quote is ‘You f***ed me after age 18, that means you gave consent.’ The entire defense was that no sexual relationship occurred and that it was a story made up by the victim. With his admission, that defense was completely disregarded.”

The family has always disagreed with this interpretation.   According to the family, the phone conversation, recorded on behest of Davis Police Detective Mark Hermann, was partially in English and partially in Nepalese. They believe that that phone conversation was misinterpreted.

According to the family,  “The DA’s interpretation of what Ajay was saying to the accuser… was totally and completely false. Any misunderstanding is due to language and cultural issues which are often times lost in the translation process. Ajay was trying to explain to the accuser how our legal system works demonstrating that if a statement like this was made it could possibly ruin both her life and his. He was NOT admitting to rape.”

The family contends that the phone conversation lasted 50 minutes, during which the defendant denies the charges at least 27  times.

The Vanguard has never been able to have the recording independently evaluated.  However, the appellate brief provides the most detailed information to date.

The appeal argues that on the evening of February 4, 2004, AV supervised by Davis Police Detective Mark Hermann initiated “the pretext upon which they hoped to obtain a recorded admission from Ajay [Dev] corroborating [AV’s] that Ajay had raped her two to three times a week for five years from ages 15 to 20 years of age.”

“No such admission was obtained,” the appellate attorney writes.

According to the brief: “‘The Pretext for the call, devised by Detective Hermann, involved a lie that [AV] went to her school counselor and admitted she had three abortions, but refused to tell the school counselor who the father was.  [AV] intimated that  Ajay was the father and hesitantly told Ajay, “l did not really tell her anything about us should I tell her, about you and me daddy?”

Apparently, Mr. Dev did not know what to think of these new allegation and believed AV “was attempting to frame him because she was so enraged about the break up…”

What would follow is roughly thirty minutes of back and forth.  AV’s “accusations became more direct: ‘You had sex with me, ever since I was 15.’ “

Mr. Dev would repeatedly deny these allegation responding, “[AV] it’s wrongly accused.”  She responded, “How is that wrongly accused?  Didn’t you do that to me, when..”  He responded, “I did not.”

“Are you lying?” she asked.  “No, I am telling the truth.”

It is a strange conversation.

Writes the attorney: “Throughout the call, Ajay implored [AV] not to frame him out of revenge…”  At approximately 30 minutes into the call, “Ajay’s parents, who could overhear Ajay’s side of the call, told Ajay to speak Nepali…  They did not trust [AV] and feared she was trying to frame him.”

The critical moment comes when she asked, “How is my life re… ruining daddy?”  To which he angrily responded that her life could be ruined “because you have fucked me after 18 years of your age.”  AV replied, equally indignant, “Ok so?”  After a long pause, Mr. Dev stated, “That means you have given me consent,” which AV denied.

Writes the defense: “The prosecution and defense disputed the meaning of this highly ambiguous exchange at trial.”

They continued, “What was not in dispute however was [AV’s] comment made seconds later:  that she was angry at Ajay because he would not admit that any of her allegations were true.”

Mr. Dev: “Talk softly, why are you talking so angrily?”

AV: “Because I want you to talk to me. I want you to say it.”

The defense is arguing here that if he had just admitted to having sex with her earlier in the phone call, what need does she have to continue to attempt to convince him to admit to having sex later in the conversation.

They point to an ambiguous statement where AV alleges that Ajay purportedly said, “But you had sex with me when you were 18.”

At trial, “The defense expert who translated the pretext call testified that Ajay’s statement was inaudible, but was able to decisively rule out [AV’s] translation because, although mostly inaudible, the expert could unmistakably hear the first syllable of the word in dispute which was incompatible with any Nepali word connoting ‘sex.’ “

The defense notes AV’s frustration as she continues to push him, “Why don’t you admit?”

Mr. Dev would push back, arguing that “her allegation would eventually be disproved by medical records which would surely expose the real person who impregnated her.”

Mr. Dev would argue, “You had abortion when you were 18 years old and they have the record.  When they have the record, they will understand with which boy did you go with to give name.”

AV would only respond that “the boy’s name is not there” – she did not dispute that she had been impregnated by the boyfriend.

NEPALI  LEGAL TROUBLE AS MOTIVATION TO PRESS CHARGES

Following this call, the Devs would hire legal counsel and, at the behest of counsel, they initiated their own investigation of AV’s life in Nepal.

In May of 2004, AV wrote a letter to the DA requesting that the police “withdraw the case against” Ajay Dev.  A month later, AV was arrested in Nepal attending her sister’s wedding on charges that she had lied about her date of birth on her 1998 passport.  She would be charged with passport fraud and jailed for 19 days.

Writes the defense, “Without her passport [AV] would have no way of re-entering the United States and, as a result, risked losing her legal residency status and her path to American citizenship.”

In June 2005, AV was convicted of passport fraud in Nepal and she would not be allowed to re-enter the United States without a waiver of police certificate.”  In October, at the behest of Detective Hermann, “The U S. Embassy in Nepal issued a waiver of police certificate allowing [AV] to re-enter the country.”

The Embassy did so because [AV] planned to testify in the Ajay Dev criminal case.

ALLEGED RAPES

During the trial of Ajay Dev, AV testified that Mr. Dev raped her two to three times a week for five years from the age of 15 to 20.  She testified that he first inappropriately touched her in early February 1999, within weeks of her arrival.

AV testified that Mr. Dev laid down behind her while she was on the couch, pressed his pelvis into her backside, touched her breasts over her clothes.  After a few minutes, she got up and walked away.  Mr. Dev allegedly instructed her not to tell anyone.

A month later, Mr. Dev carried her to his bedroom, and attempted to undress her as she tried to escape.  She said he held her down, undressed her, and proceeded to have intercourse with her.

From this point on, she testified that Mr. Dev raped her “without fail, two to three times a week for five years.”

She testified that for the first six months, he raped her only when his wife was out of the house, but thereafter he would rape her while his wife was asleep.

AV alleged that Mr. Dev forced her to watch a pornographic video, “Eighteen and Confused.”  She claimed it was shown on Mr. Dev’s laptop but there were serious discrepancies with the story.

She claimed she was shown it when she was 15 in 1999, but evidence at trial showed the video did not exist until January 2000 and the laptop was not purchased until November 2001.

During trial, AV estimated Mr. Dev forced her to have oral sex about three times a month or 30 to 50 times over the course of three years.  She testified, “All I remember is resisting him and feeling disgusted.”

However, when she spoke with Detective Hermann in February 2004, she adamantly denied that Mr. Dev ever forced her to perform oral sex on him.  She explained during the videotaped interview, “[b]cecause I just thought it was disgusting to do – put his thing in.  I never – I mean, it’s disgusting to put that thing in my mouth… I wouldn’t do it.”

The defense notes, “Officer Briesenick testified that when [AV] reported the charges against Ajay on February 2, 2004, she never included any allegation relating to oral copulation.”

AV would testify that a number of rapes and assaults occurred outside of the Dev home and in the homes of relatives including one where she testified that she slept on the living room floor with her cousins and was raped while they were in the same room.

She also testified that she was raped on the floor at a relative’s home near Monterey as Mrs. Dev slept in the bed adjacent to them.

In both incidents, AV “could not remember other details of the incident.”

The defense notes, “At the preliminary hearing, [AV] testified that no rapes ever occurred when she was sleeping in the same bed as Peggy [Dev].”  However, “At trial… [AV] testified that Ajay was able to rape her in the same bed as Peggy on two occasions without waking up Peggy…”

The defense notes that AV told Detective Hermann that the rapes stopped once she moved out.  However, during the trial she testified that Mr. Dev raped her at Motel 6 after she moved out of the Dev home.

The defense writes, “Specifically, she testified that Ajay picked her up at her apartment, and although she thought they were going to the park, he took her to the motel.  [AV] testified that she voluntarily followed Ajay into the motel room as she believed they would just talk.”

The defense continues, “Despite having been raped 500 to 700 times, [AV] stated she gave Ajay the ‘benefit of the doubt.’ “

The defense adds, “[AV] testified she had nightmares about this experience and, it was so traumatic, she would never forget it.”  They note, “Although the rape occurred January 12, 2004, [AV] admitted she did not initially tell the reporting officer, Officer Breisnick, about this rape on February 2, 2004 or Detective Hermann February 3, 2004 because she didn’t remember it.”

The defense notes that the prosecution attempted to explain delays in reporting a number of the rapes along with her inconsistencies through expert testimony from Dr. Anthony Urqiza.  Dr. Urquiza argued that children suffering from Child Sex Abuse Accommodation Syndrome (CSAAS) “may experience entrapment, accommodation and delayed and unconvincing disclosure.”

However, the defense’s expert countered that, noting that CSAAS is not recognized by the AMA or psychological or psychiatric associations and that research has undermined its legitimacy.

PREGNANCIES

AV testified during trial that Mr. Dev impregnated her three times as the result of the 500 to 700 times he raped her during the five-year period.  The defense argues that these pregnancies occurred during an 11-month window when AV was between 18 and 19 years of age.  She insisted during trial that the pregnancies could have only occurred due to Mr. Dev since she was not having sex with anyone else.

However, this contention was directly contradicted by one of her boyfriends who testified that they were having sex at least once a week at his mother’s home during the fall of 2003.  “The defense argues, “The evidence also showed that [AV] was dating ‘Sid’ during her first two pregnancies, from November 2002 through May 2003, and dating ‘Araz’ during the third pregnancy scare in November 2003.”

The defense notes, “[AV] offered no explanation as to why she only got pregnant during times in which she was dating older males [that] Ajay and Peggy forbade her to see or why she never got pregnant from ages 15 to 17 even though she was fertile and claimed that Ajay rarely wore condoms during these alleged rapes.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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41 thoughts on “Vanguard Analysis of Ajay Dev’s Appeal, Part I”

  1. nena8

    Thank you David for your continued coverage of Mr. Dev’s case.

    I read the Appellant’s Opening Brief (AOB) and Timeline of Events and found one of the most compelling arguments is the timing of her alleged pregnancies. Five years of rape – 500 to 700 times (approx every other day starting at the age of 15) and yet she only became pregnant between the ages of 18 and 19 which coincided with when she was dating older men. This is a very compelling argument. The facts continue to point to Mr. Dev’s innocence.

    AOB
    http://www.seekingjusticefortheinnocent.com/index.php/ajay/ajay-news/legal-case/594-ajay-s-appeal-brief.

    Timeline of Events
    http://seekingjusticefortheinnocent.com/index.php/library-menu/library-submenu/video-library/610-video-2012-patty-pursell

  2. hpierce

    If Mr Dev is found not guilty (or better yet, exonerated as innocent), can the accuser be prosecuted for perjury, other crimes, where she would serve a prison term at least as long as Mr Dev’s?

  3. David M. Greenwald

    In theory they could be prosecuted for perjury, but of course the punishment for that is far less than Mr. Dev’s sentence, even if they stacked the charges to include each instance. Also there is a statute of limitation on perjury. In California the statute of limitations is four years, meaning this July it would expire.

  4. David M. Greenwald

    And I would add, that I wouldn’t want there to be a ridiculous punishment for perjury because it makes it far less likely that a witness would recant.

  5. medwoman

    David

    You may have addressed these issues in previous articles but I am truly confused on a couple of points:

    [quote]…includes most notably the inclusion of the alleged victim’s interpretation of a 50-minute pretext call that meandered between English and Nepalese, the judge’s[/quote]

    Who provided the literal interpretation of the Nepalese portions of the conversation ? Was the translation provided by an impartial service with no knowledge of the case ? Was the interpretation of the actual spoken words agreed upon by both prosecution and defense ? Were both the prosecution’s and the defense’s views of the intent of the spoken words presented to the jury ? If there was disagreement between the interpretations, how was this explained to the jury in their instruction ?

    [quote]the judge’s refusal to allow potentially exculpatory evidence.[/quote]

    Do you know what this evidence is ? Will that be included in part two ?

  6. David M. Greenwald

    Medwoman:

    Excellent questions and they will be very thoroughly addressed in the next installment. I was very confused about these points as well until I read the appeal.

    The short version which will again be explained more in the second installment is that the defense and prosecution had their own translators work on the conversation. They agreed eventually on most of the points of dispute EXCEPT the key passage.

    The judge let, after considerable discussion, the alleged victim herself translate it.

    There are disputes about how to explain this to the jury and that becomes a critical point that the defense makes in the appeal.

    The exculpatory evidence has to do with her arrest and conviction in Nepal for forging her passport application with a false birthdate. This is critical because when the judge did not let in the evidence, the defense lost a key motive for the AV to lie about the rapes – her testimony became the key for her to regain her passport and ultimately give her an opportunity for citizenship, without it she would have been deported.

  7. medwoman

    Until yesterday, I had not been aware of an immigration policy that allows victims of certain crimes, of which rape is included,to apply to have their legal stay within the United States extended. I cannot help but wonder if the accuser in this case was aware of this policy and/or had chosen to apply for this status.

  8. medwoman

    [quote]The judge let, after considerable discussion, the alleged victim herself translate it.
    [/quote]

    Ok, so does any one other than me consider this one of the most egregious errors of judgement of which they can conceive ? How is this any different from allowing only the accusers story to be heard if there was controversy and she was allowed the only interpretation of what was said.

    [quote]This is in fact how she regained entry, she contacted Detective Hermann and he arranged for her passport.[/quote]

    So one more point of clarification. It would seem to me to be one thing if the prosecutor needed her back in the country in order to pursue this case and initiated the proceedings to have her brought back. It would seem something else entirely if, in order to return to the US because she prefers living here, she initiated the contact and said that she would testify.

  9. nena8

    In regards to AV’s Nepali Record of Conviction and how the Trial Court refused to take notice of the Nepali Court’s verdict and Appellate decision, I find this decision disturbing. The appellate attorney writes:
    “This Nepali conviction was critical to Ajay’s defense not only because it showed [AV’s] propensity to lie, but because it expressly showed that [AV] knew the Devs could reverse her adoption which, in turn, would result in [AV’s] deportation to Nepal. To qualify for adoption in the United States, [AV’s] adoption had to be completed before she turned 16. [AV’s} adoption was completed on December 6, 1999. Under her false date of birth (January 5, 1984), as evidenced by the Nepali record of conviction, she was approximately 15 years and 11 months at the time she was legally adopted. Under her real date of birth (April 28, 1983), found true by the Nepali court, she was approximately 16 years and seven months at the time of her adoption. Therefore, the Nepali record of conviction shows that [AV’s] adoption was premised on a fraud and could be reversed. If reversed, she would not qualify for derivative citizenship under United States immigration laws and would be deported back to Nepal.”

    This shows a compelling motive for [AV] to falsely accuse Mr. Dev especially after “[AV] learned the Dev’s had decided to disinherit her and the family relationship had irreversibly deteriorated” (AOB).

    Just reading the Table of Contents of the AOB is enough to question if Mr. Dev had a fair trial. The appellate attorney also wrote:
    • Appellant’s convictions should be reversed because the Trial Courts exclusion of [AV’s] 2005 Nepali record of conviction prejudiced the entire trial and violated his constitutional right to present a defense.
    • The Trial Court rejected every effort the defense made to admit [AV’s] Nepal Record of Conviction.
    • The Trial Court erred by refusing to take judicial notice of the Nepali Court verdict and Appellate decision.
    • The Trial Court abused its discretion by determining Appellant failed to provide a proper “Chain of Certification” pursuant to Evidence Code section 1530 subdivision (a), subsection (3).
    • The Trial Court abused its discretion by refusing to take judicial notice of [AV’s] entire record of conviction.
    • The Nepali Court documents were also properly authenticated by other circumstantial evidence.
    • All of the Nepali Court documents should have been admitted for the Jury‘s consideration pursuant to Evidence Code Section 403.
    • The Trial Court’s failure to admit the Nepali Court documents prejudiced Appellant warranting reversal under a State and Federal Standard of prejudice.

  10. David M. Greenwald

    “Ok, so does any one other than me consider this one of the most egregious errors of judgement of which they can conceive ? How is this any different from allowing only the accusers story to be heard if there was controversy and she was allowed the only interpretation of what was said.”

    Well the appellate attorney did, it was a centerpiece of their complaint. And it’s THE only piece of evidence that would link Mr. Dev to a crime other than what came out of the victim’s mouth.

  11. medwoman

    And so in reality, if only her translation of the relevant portion of the tape was presented, then ALL of the evidence was “what came out of the victim’s mouth”.

  12. Nemesis

    After reading this account of what happened at trial it is very easy to understand why there are 200+ people demonstrating on behalf of Ajay Dev’s innocence. David, you wrote a past article that really stuck with me that someone working at the prison was speaking at the rally on why he felt Ajay was innocent. That along with this article and the fact that so many people feel there was such an injustice done to Ajay has made me question what I have read from both the DA’s office and Matt Rexroad about the Ajay Dev case.

  13. Nemesis

    David, I was wondering if Ajay was convicted of the pornography you mentioned above and impregnating the girl AV? If her boyfriend said they were sleeping together during that time frame how can the prosecutor claim it was Ajay? Furthermore, if the movie wasn’t made when she claimed she saw it, that is easily proved. You have to wonder if the detective or prosecutor, during their investigation of the case, ever had questions regarding her truthfulness.

  14. Peggy Dev

    David. Thank you for writing about Ajay’s case. It has been the biggest nightmare I have ever been through. When the facts are clearly presented I am confident that people will realize Ajay is innocent. It has been a big burden for me to carry – knowing that Ajay is innocent, wrongly convicted and sitting in prison. That is why I and the other witnesses have been vocal, speaking at rallies and trying to make the public aware. Unfortunately, some people will automatically jump to the conclusion the family is prejudiced. I would never support someone who could have done such a heinous crime. None of our efforts can hold a candle to an independent review of the facts such as you have done and the appellate attorney. So thank you for your coverage of Ajay’s case.

    I would just add that Ajay is suffering in prison. The appeal process is taking too long. And meanwhile our children are growing up so fast without their father.

  15. Fight Against Injustice

    “Ok, so does any one other than me consider this one of the most egregious errors of judgement of which they can conceive ? How is this any different from allowing only the accusers story to be heard if there was controversy and she was allowed the only interpretation of what was said.”

    I totally and absolutely agree that this is one of the most egregious errors of judgement that I have seen. I would encourage people to join the 1,100 people who have signed a petition to have the attorney general look closely at this case. There is also more information on on the petition website. There is a link to the petition next to this article, or you can go to http://www.change.org/petitions/free-ajay-dev-a-victim-of-cash-for-convictions

  16. memary10

    What outrages me most about this case it that the accuser was allowed to interpret the “pretext” phone call from Nepalese to English and only her obviously biased translation was used in trial. The judge rejected the certified version. Most of the prosecution’s case was based on this biased translation. The entire criminal justice system in the Central Valley is corrupt and in flagrant disregard for the law and for basic principles of justice. I come from another part of the country and I have never seen such blatant prejudice and disregard for justice. It’s disgusting.

  17. JThom

    Thank you for this excellent article. I once knew Mr. Dev’s parents well and had the opportunity to meet him a couple of times. I have followed the case since his arrest, with no unique information on his innocence or quilt, though the information did not fit with the family I knew. About 5 months ago I had the opportunity to serve on a juror with an individual who had been a juror on the Dev trial. Without sharing with him my knowledge of the case we discussed it at length. I was very surprised how little this individual knew about the case, the concerns the defense had, though he assured me of Dev’s guilt. When I pressed why, it was difficult to get a concrete reason other than an emphatic “he is guilty”. The same individual seemed quick to rush to the judgement of guilt on the jury I served on. Lucky for this defendant others on the juror focused on details and voted to acquit.

    It would seem at the very least Mr. Dev received an unfair and unjust trial, and he might very well be innocent.

    Please continue the excellent coverage.

  18. Fight Against Injustice

    J Thom: Thank you for your comments. It is really scary to hear that the juror from Ajay’s trial could not give you a concrete reason for finding Ajay guilty–especially considering Ajay was sentenced to prison for 378 years.

    It is also discouraging to find out that this same juror was willing to rush to convict again. I am glad that you and the other jurors focused on the details of the trial and made your decision accordingly.

    In Ajay’s case the prosecutor worked very hard to keep out lots of different pieces of evidence that would contradict the accuser’s story and demonstrate how inconceivable her story was.

  19. JThom

    It is difficult to even read that “378 yrs” figure. I am sure even harder for the family. The prosecutor must of done an outstanding job of keeping out information because the juror I spoke to did not have a firm grasp of the details and no understanding that there may be additional information that ran counter to what they held as truth.

    My opportunity to serve on a juror months back was my first experience. I am a believer in a trial by juror of peers but was dishearten by the experience. One juror even while admitting to the defendants innocence of the charges, still argue for quilt because “you know he did stuff”. In the end we convinced this juror to vote to acquit.

    I hope Mr. Dev receives fair justice. It is also appreciated that the Vanguard provides such excellent coverage.

  20. Themis

    It’s inexcusable that a juror can vote to convict anyone without giving a very good reason or knowing the facts of the case. This is just another part of our broken system. I wonder how any juror would feel going to trial knowing what a jury room is really like? A lot of people feel disheartened by the jury experience just like JThom did. Too many times jurors just want to go home or just don’t want to be bullied so they don’t fight for what they believe is right whether it’s for guilt or innocence.

  21. bachha

    Thank you David for taking your time and writing this article. Thank you JThom for your insightful comments. I am not at all surprised to hear that the juror serving on Ajay Dev’s trial could not give you a concrete answer. In fact, David has encouraged the actual jurors to give their viewpoints on many occasions. But other than the two or three jurors comments during the conviction three years ago, none others have come forward. And even these jurors cannot give more reasons other than the one that the DA tried successfully convincing them that Ajay was admitting in the two lines spoken in a nearly one hour conversation on the pre-text. Of course we know that these two lines are heavily disputed and was even allowed by the accuser to translate. Anyone who speaks more than one language will tell you that literal translation can be quite different than the actual interpretation. This case has been a terrible mis-carriage of justice. I pray that the Appellate Court reviews this case with an even mind and without the influence coming from the DA’s office in Yolo County.

  22. lmpetersen2

    I wanted to thank you for bringing attention to Ajay’s case. It is a horrible injustice that more people need to be aware of. I hope the appeal will be successful and allow for Ajay to be released.

  23. RoxyMom

    Thank you, Davis Vanguard, for continuing to cover this important story. I look forward to your continued coverage.
    The lack of evidence in this case is staggering. It is imperative that Mr. Dev’s appeal receive a thorough and fair review.

  24. steadd1

    Thank-you for your continued coverage of this case. The unwavering support of this man’s family and friends is alone enough to consider that justice in this case was not served. The errors in this trial as presented here only make it more painfully apparent. Best wishes to the Dev family and best of luck with their appeal.

  25. JThom

    AdRemmer- Actually the conversations I had with the juror were both over lunch and at dinner. Yes, I would expect someone to remember the details, or at the very least a high level of information with regard to a case that placed a man behind bars for 378 years. That is something that would stick with me forever. I remember the details, as if it was yesterday of the jury I was on several months ago where the defendant got off. So yes REALLY! I would expect an individual to be able to give me a clear explaination of why he found a man guilty a few years later, many years later….Really.

  26. Michael Burrows

    Mr. Greenwald I would like thank you for reporting on Ajay Dev’s case. This is a travesty of the justice system and Ajay Dev must be exonerated. Thank you for bring his case before the public so they will know an innocent man is being incarcerated.

  27. eagle eye

    Shame on the D.A.’s office which wanted to win rather than present all the facts of the case, a case that should have been withdrawn, rather than prosecuted.

  28. Organa

    David this story is so sad and needs to be told to the public so thank you for making it happen. I went to the website and read the title page of the appeal and there are so many things that don’t seem to add up to a verdict of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt for a conviction and even more so one that has a sentence of 378 years! Parts V,VI, VII seem extremely suspicious to me. She drops the charges after the call and the search warrant are executed, why? Those things should validate her claim but she chooses to drop the charges. Then she herself is arrested in Nepal and cannot return so now she wants to reinstate the charges, very opportunistic.

  29. My two cents

    Thank you for your continued coverage. This is an important case where it appears Mr. Dev did not receive a fair trial regardless of whether he is guilty or innocent. The 300 + year conviction is an atrocity and those who kill don’t even get that type of sentence.

    I agree with JThom. I too, recently served as a juror and was applauded at the fact the jurors were quick to reach a verdict regardless of the direction given by the judge of convicting beyond a reasonable doubt. I was certainly in the minority when I kept referring the jury back to the discussion of the doubt they had earlier discussed in the day. I found the process rather disheartening.

    I hope Mr. Dev receives another day in court and it’s a fair trial.

  30. WeAreTheCheese

    Thanks David for bringing light to such important issues as our cracked legal system.

    Unfortunately this case epitomizes how much power a single prosecutor has. The ability to withhold exculpatory evidence, the ability to submit a biased piece of interpretation, and, quite simply, the outcome of this case all prove that the prosecutorial powers are in need of strong checks.

    This case is a stain on the already muddled judicial system. If we continue to allow Ajay, and people in his situation, to remain behind bars, then we clearly aren’t abiding by our “innocent until proven guilty” judicial credo.

    The man is innocent. It’s painfully simple to see.

  31. djwein

    David, thanks so much for your in-depth reporting on this case. I also read the appellate brief as soon as it was made public and continue to be amazed at how badly this case was handled by the DA and the Court. Hundreds (thousands?) of Ajay’s supporters have been anxiously waiting for your analytic report and we appreciate your comprehensive review. I see that part II is out today and will read it forthwith! Thanks again!

  32. Squall Leonhart

    This part alone just shows how stupid the accuser is…

    [i]”The defense writes, “Specifically, she testified that Ajay picked her up at her apartment, and although she thought they were going to the park, he took her to the motel. [AV] testified that she voluntarily followed Ajay into the motel room as she believed they would just talk.”

    The defense continues, “Despite having been raped 500 to 700 times, [AV] stated she gave Ajay the ‘benefit of the doubt.’ “

    [/i]
    What kind of any IDIOT would give a someone who did something so heinous to them (hundreds of times) the benefit of the doubt? I mean if I lived on the African Plains and a lion had chased me and mauled me even once, or had managed to survive multiple attacks. I would say far way from that lion as possible. I would never go up to it because it looks like it wasn’t hungry today and give it “the benefit of the doubt.” If anyone believes this blatant liar then I hear the African plains are nice this time of the year.

  33. memary10

    Ajay’s conviction just reinforces my belief that

    1. The criminal justice system has little to do with justice or public safety and more to do with securing federal grants and other monies for “Crimes de Jour”

    2.Juries are poorly instructed and have lost their ability to think for themselves. They also know nothing about the law and most judges like to keep it that way.

  34. AdRemmer

    [quote]I remember the details, as if it was yesterday of the jury I was on several months ago [/quote]

    Did you compare your age coupled with elapsed time frame
    vs.

    the other juror’s age and elapsed time frame/

    “Several months” as opposed to 36 , 37, 38 or ? months…

    Got it

  35. Pingback: November 14: Preventing Wrongful Convictions | Forensic News

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