Family and Supporters Gather in the Park For One Year Anniversary of Ajay Dev Conviction



It has been a year since a Yolo County Jury Convicted Ajay Dev of multiple counts of rape of his adopted daughter.  He would in August be sentenced to 378 years in prison.  The family continues to maintain his innocence, and  to bring up  evidence that the multiple incidents of rape did not occur.  Many people continue to offer general support to the family.

In a letter to family, friends, and well wishers, Ajay Dev said, “This June 25, 2010 marks one year since the worst miscarriage of justice that has occurred against me and my family. It has been tremendously difficult as the wounds of betrayal, injustice and the loss of my freedom are still very fresh.”


Particularly difficult, Mr. Dev said, is that “The prison authorities will not let me have contact visits with my children ,due to the type of conviction. This has been devastating. I miss my older son tremendously and I have not even seen or held my little 4 month-old-son.”

“Sometimes I think the injustice resulting from lies built upon lies is impossible to untangle, especially for those far and removed from the reality of the situation, like the jury.  Let the record be clear, I am innocent of all charges and was wrongly convicted,” he said.

“The fight for the truth and exposing the gross miscarriage of justice that has occurred in Yolo County is an uphill battle,” he continued.  “In spite of all the hurdles we have to overcome, people are taking notice. We are making progress up that hill and we will overcome, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

One of the more interesting stories we heard was from Terry Easley, the sister of Peggy Dev.  As she explained it, one of the rapes was said to have occurred in her Monterey home.  She lived in a small apartment and she explained, “700 sq ft is a generous estimate of the size of the entire apartment.  My niece slept in the living room on the floor next to my two sons and a dog.  My sister and I slept no more than 10 to 15 feet away from them.”

She continued, “According to all four of us, there was no way a rape could have occurred at that time–the ONLY time the accuser spent the night in our home.”

She described in vivid detail her oldest son’s recollection.  “He did not testify in court and is not here today, as he lives on the east coast.  After the verdict was read, he had a complete breakdown, sobbing uncontrollably, and through his sobs he asked me if Ajay had been convicted of the rape during the time when he visited our house.  I answered yes.  He choked and heaved sobs, grew limp in my arms saying over and over, “That’s not right.  Ajay didn’t do it.  Ajay didn’t do it.  It didn’t happen.””

Her younger son, Ben Easley, also spoke and described in explicit detail the sleeping arrangements and why they believe there is no way that the accuser could have been raped in their Monterey home.

He explained that the accuser, himself, his brother, and his uncle Ajay Dev all lay shoulder to shoulder in the living room.  Mr. Easley described himself as a light sleeper and a night owl who often lay awake at night, sleepless.  “For her to say that she was raped by my uncle under these circumstances, considering that we were all lying shoulder to shoulder, it’s really unthinkable.  I don’t understand how this could happen.”

“Not only that,” Ben Easley said, “but for him to get convicted on it, on basically someone’s word…there’s no tangible evidence whatsoever.”

According to the family, this is just one of many times and locations where the claim of rape just did not seem possible, let alone credible.  Unfortunately, the family maintains that a lot of these witnesses were not allowed to testify.


The Vanguard spoke to Peggy Dev, wife of Ajay.  She told the Vanguard that their attorney is hoping to have the opening appellate brief filed this winter.  It can be a two to three year process which includes the opening brief, the Attorney General’s response, and then the appellant files a reply brief.

Following that there will be oral arguments and then the judges will examine the arguments and no one is sure how long that will take.

As Ajay Dev explained in his letter, “Unfortunately, the appeal process is complex and takes time. The appellate court is only concerned about procedural errors and if the defendant had an unfair trial.”

“We all believe there were errors and prejudice throughout the trial, causing this injustice,” he continued.  “It has taken many hours to read and analyze the court transcript. Although reading the transcript was extremely emotional and difficult, it confirmed our belief.”

Peggy Dev has the enormous burden of not only fighting what she believes is a worthy fight for her husband’s vindication, but also is raising two very young children, one of them only four months old.  As her husband explained, he has never even met or held the baby.

She told the Vanguard, “The kids are absolutely wonderful and the source of my strength. They are too young to know what is happening, which is a blessing.”

“At times I just break down and then I pick my-self up and continue to fight,” Mrs. Dev continued.”Being the only other person in the house, my conscience tells me that I have to keep going until everything is out and this injustice is undone. We have great support from family and friends and that helps me to continue.”

As she later explained, “This is my life, and it is so surreal to sit in court and hear the DDA talk about my life with more authority than me. Especially when he wasn’t there, nor has he ever spoken to me outside of trial.”

She continued, “No one can tell me what my life was. I lived it. So, I feel an obligation of conscience to make sure the truth does come out. I cannot live with myself knowing what I know and that an innocent person is sitting in prison.”


The events on Saturday began with a dance called Lakhe which is according to Nepali custom, symbolically protect Ajay by hunting down evil spirits and destroying them. In essence, it is asking God to conquer evil.  According to the family, the Lakhe dance is performed yearly during the Indra Jatra Festival in the streets of Kathmandu. As king of the demons, the Lakhe serves to protect the residents of the city from evil spirits and misfortune. His dance is wild and spontaneous, performed to the music of cymbals and special drums. Masked and robed in red, his bells jingle loudly as he hunts and destroys the dangerous demons.

The Vanguard will be receiving a copy of the trial transcript for the first time and will then be able to evaluate key testimony and see who was able to speak and who was not.  This will enable us to really understand the evidence that the DA had against Mr. Dev and see what the jury saw.

—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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37 thoughts on “Family and Supporters Gather in the Park For One Year Anniversary of Ajay Dev Conviction”

  1. Themis

    I am glad you will be receiving a copy of the transcript. Hearing that mulyiple people say one thing happened and one person said something else happened it’s hard to believe that a conviction occurred.

  2. JThom

    I agree a review of the transcript will be good. But wrongful convictions happen all the time based on one persons testimony over the information provided by several people. In this case it is the use of a pretext call that weighed heavily. Pretext calls are a procedure not allowed in many states. If it was hard to believe that this could be a wrongful conviction how does one account for all the people who spent many years in jail based on only the testimony of the victim only to find out years later via DNA that the accused is innocent. We have a judicial system that rewards overzealous prosecution and a media that instills fear. Seems like a recipe for a system that would have wrongful convictions.

  3. Matthew Allen

    I will be interested to see what comes of this. I am often leery about the claims of families as there is often a good deal of denial and looking the other way when a crime is under their nose for years. Maybe they’re right in this case, but I would never base a conclusion on the testimony of family members.

  4. Cableguy87

    One year removed from Mr. Dev’s predatory prosecution and unfathomable conviction; the family and friends of Mr. Dev remain in a heightened state of resolve and commitment towards the eradication of the injustice perpetrated against an innocent man.

    Additionally, the year has provided the family with greater clarification and comprehension, regarding the District Attorney’s inability to produce a scintilla of forensic evidence sufficient to substantiate that one–let alone 700+ rapes had actually occurred.

    It’s worth noting that the primary investigator in the People v. Dev had conscientiously failed/refused to properly investigate a number of locations (purported crime scenes) where the accuser had vehemently asserted that she was sexually abused by Mr. Dev.

    In the final analysis, the accuser’s well-documented litany-of-lies under sworn oath only serves to reaffirm the adage that true victims of crime have no need and/or compelling desire to resort to prevarication.

  5. memary10

    Here in the counties of the Central Valley there have been many convictions of innocent people, especially in cases of sexual crimes. Kern County falsely convicted many people two decades ago and ruined their lives. Only recently were they able to be cleared and released after 20 years. My own daughter is facing what amounts to a life sentence, accused of wounding a home invading gangster, even though the wounded man and two other eyewitnesses have sworn to police in taped interviews, that it was a man who fired the shot. Prosecution and trial are proceeding. No one is innocent until proven guilty anymore; it is the exact opposite. Juries no longer hold to the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and in fact, don’t even understand the concept. It is enough to convict if the accused “could have done it”, a direct quote from one of the jurors in the Ajay Dev case. The whole judicial system here needs serious reform and has for a very long time. Sorry, Yolo, Kern, Sacramento and you other Central Valley counties; the law is the law and you can’t make it up as you go along.

  6. JThom

    I am surprised by what I believe to be the response of the progressive readers of the vangard. I do not know if this man is innocent. I do know that there is a lot of interesting information. Most of all I know the behavior of the Davis PD and our DA. When do we wake up and realize we live in a police state? Yes… finish laughing… now ask your friend who is a person of color. Very different experience. This case is not just about whether this man is innocent… Did he receive a fair trial… is their something over zealous about our DA… what’s going on with our Police Department (finally we had someone who ran for city council and challenge this)… is there a racial bias? I have no idea if he is guilty or innocent, but I know that these are valuable questions to raise about the town I live in.

  7. My two cents

    I think interviews with the jurors would be a great idea and reading of the court transcripts even better. Please keep us all posted as you work through them as we are all curious as you read through it.

    What I find most outrageous about this case is the lack of proper investigation. Who investigates a case without interviewing the family? That is just outrageous! So those who know Ajay the most are not even considered in the case? It just doesn’t make sense.
    Yolo County residents we are all in big trouble if this type of prosecution continues to happen in our county. Wake up and take action.

  8. David M. Greenwald


    I would love to interview the Jurors.

    If any jurors are reading this, I know some of you have posted in the past, please send me an email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org, I will take great care to protect your identities.

  9. wesley506

    For a Deputy DA it’s not about truth or justice, but all about winning so they can rack up a successful track record. When it comes time for them to move up the food chain, they can then parade their tough on crime record of convictions to the electorate.
    Having been on a couple of juries in Yolo county I can say from first hand experience juries do not hesitate to ignore factual evidence and make decisions based on how they happen to like or dislike the person on the stand.

  10. nena8

    It’s been a year and 2 days since the jury in the People vs. Dev case gave their verdict and sent an innocent man to prison. I will never forget that day. The courtroom was full of Mr. Dev’s supporters, many of whom gave testimonies during the trial (family members as well as neighbors and friends). When the verdict was announced, we were all in absolute shock and disbelief. How could this have happened? This was a case with NO physical evidence; the Yolo County PD detective was more concerned with making a case than validating a claim of sexual abuse, who did not question pertinent witnesses; the Deputy DA grossly misrepresented the facts to the jury; and the judge blocked the admission of numerous pieces of exculpatory evidence. How could such an unjust ruling occur? I urge you all to learn more about Ajay’s story and help us fight for his freedom. Visit and Facebook: Advocates For Ajay.

    David, I look forward to hearing your analysis of the transcript and if you are able to interview any of the jurors.

  11. Fight Against Injustice

    I too would very much like to hear from of the jurors on this case. Unfortunately, the jurors were not privvy to some pertinent information they needed. The detective an DDA misrepresented the case and witheld evidence–and the judge allowed this to happen. Eventually more and more details of the injustices that have happened in this case will be released publicly. As jurors learn more about this case, I hope that they will not be afraid to come forward and speak.

    A man has been falsely convicted. And it is not just family that feels this way. Please look at my next blog to read some excerpts from letters people have written.
    If you would like to read the entire letter go to and look under statements.

    1. “…Are you already predisposed to believe something about [Ajay] that I know with every fiber of my being to be false? I pray not.”

    2. “…We are not persons who are easily manipulated or completely devoid of perception. We are responsible, thinking individuals who uphold the standards of morality and law. As strong individuals with a true sense of right and wrong, we would have fought against Ajay had any one seen anything untoward.”

    3. “I have a BA in Psychology and have worked in Social Services for 21 years. 18 of those, I worked with the chronically mentally ill in an outpatient setting. I am familiar with all levels of psychological dysfunction and was responsible for conducting psycho/social assessments and frequently dealt with persons who had experienced sexual abuse. From what I know about [the accuser’s] accusations from all who knew the Dev’s intimately and who spent many hours alone with [the accuser], (my husband included) there is no way this chronic abuse could have taken place.”

    4. “I am a molestation victim. I had to go through a terrible process to get the person who hurt me pointed out. Nevertheless, he was cleared and I even had to walk into him one day. I am still suffereing from this experience psychologically and emotionally and would do anything to prevent someone else from experiencing something of this nature. Similarly, I would fight to get anyone guilty of such a horrible crime exposed and behind bars. I would never stand behind a rapist. On the other hand, as a victim of sexual abuse, I condemn any false accusation and see it as a slap in the face of any true victim when an innocent man is found guilty due to unfounded accusations from an inconsistent “witness”.”

    5. “I have been brought to Washington DC several times to speak to individuals all over the country on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education on issues of Health. In all these roles, my job has been the safety, welfare and the health of children. As a teacher I am a mandated reporter of child abuse. I am giving you some background so you can understand that I would never support anyone that I thought was abusing a child or any individual. I am an active voice locally and nationally in the fight for children’s rights to a healthy upbringing.”

    Continued on next blog.

  12. Fight Against Injustice

    Continued excerpts from letters written.

    6. “I witnessed the girl wake up, after allegedly being raped, and wedge herself on the couch between her adopted parents and cuddle in the crisp Monterey morning”

    7. “I have had the privilege of working with many different children with many different disibilities, some who have been either physically, emotionally or sexually abused. If I did not believe 100% in Ajay Dev I would not be writing this letter.”

    8. “Without exception, Ajay always conducted himself as a caring father, proud of his daughter’s accomplishments and eager to help her schollasticaly. In fact, [the accuser] often visited for tutorial sessions. Not once did I observe any tension between father and daughter.”

    9. “During the trial, I watched critically as an “outsider” and I felt that Ajay did not have his day in court, nor did Ajay’s supporters on the stand have adequate time to explain, yet [the accuser] had an abundance of time to nonsensically repeat, “I don’t remember, or I don’t know…”

    10. “When the verdict of “guilty” was read, we along with Ajay were shocked and devastated. How can justice be so blind to the truth?”
    11. “I supervised a team of counselors and also provided direct counseling services to our clients. It is with this lens that I interpret what empirical observation I make about people and their interactions with others…I watched how loving and comfortable [the accuser] was with Ajay: calling him Daddy, kissing him on the cheek, and how they looked kindly into each other’s eyes. This was not someone who suffered any abuse from him. There was no secrecy or manipulation.”

    12. “I witnessed her testimony when 95% of her answers were “I don’t remember” and the remaining 5% were clearly lies.”

    13. “…I, personally, was shocked by the accusations made by [the accuser]. When she, Ajay and Peggy spent the better part of a weekend at my home during a family reunion, [the accuser] beamed with happiness and affection for her adopted parents; especially, Ajay.”

    14. “My appraisal of Mr. Dev’s character is also qualified by my professional experience of 15 years in social service to military veterans and psychiatric patients. During my career, I witnessed the most impaired, psychologically damaged and socially degraded individuals known to man. I learnt to skillfully determine those who actually are wholesome individuals, who, against all odds, strive to live meaningful and ethical lives and encourage those around them to do the same-these are qualities that Mr. Dev possesses.”

    These are not people that are turning a blind eye to abuse or are trying to pretend like nothing happened. These are very educated, professionals that know nothing happened. Please go to and read the full statements.

  13. My two cents

    Gang Expert : I am confused by your statement, you wouldn’t take what the family has to say but yet convict a man based on one telephone call that wasn’t translated appropriately? Must I add most states don’t allow these types of calls anymore. CA is suppose to be more progressive then other states not to mention Davis by itself.

    If you live in Davis right now you should be a shamed of yourself if you aren’t backing this case. It’s not about guilty or not guility, it’s about whether the man received a fair trial or not. And the facts point to that he did not. We send people to prison for murder for less time. Come on Davisites, wake up!

    There needs to be a full investigation of the Davis PD, the DA and I hate to say it Yolo County Judges because in the end the sentence fell in their lap and they chose to convict so harshly.

    Come on Davis, this is your time to come together and really stand up for what we all supposedly believe in. Now is the time for action not lip service.

  14. Matthew Allen

    To my two cents:

    I didn’t say anything about convicting a man based on anything. All I stated was that in my experience claims about the family regarding issues such as rape and child abuse are unreliable.

    I don’t have any great insight into pretext calls or really in the case as a whole. I was merely responding to the statements by the accused’s sister-in-law and nephew.

  15. bachha

    Cash for Convictions…..I saw that and I have to admit that I thought this cannot be true. But now I am thinking differently. I read about Yolo County’s financial situation. I read about all this grant money coming in. I went back and checked when Mr. Dev was charged. It was in April of 2006. Right before Jeff Reisig’s election time. I checked on when he was convicted. June 25 of 2009. Right before the fiscal year ended. Then I read about the complains from the defense side about the judge rushing the trial and not giving them ample time to defend. The judge wanted to finish this trial no matter what before June ended. I smell something here.
    This Cash for Convictions better not be true because I believe that our justice system is good. I know it is not perfect but if in fact money and re-election and winning by all means is the motto of Yolo County Justice System, then we need help as I am now convinced of Mr. Dev’s innocence.

  16. Eusebio

    This is a heartbreaking story. The real criminals here are DDA Mount, Judge Fall, and “detective” Herman for their complicity in this systemic destruction peoples lives. The details are clear for anyone who cares to look. Perhaps thats why all those people feel so moved to protest Ajay Dev’s imprisonment- because the officials we have elected and appointed to represent us are destroying us. We must force a change- Democracy cannot be a spectator sport.

  17. My two cents

    Mr Greenwald, I never saw this go out in your updates via email. Are you going to include it this week sometime? The reason why I ask is I think most get their news via the emails you send out and not from access the website itself. I may be wrong. The more publicity on this case the better. Thanks.

  18. David M. Greenwald

    I have a couple of comments in response. First of all, I think posting something that cites Fox News is probably not the best way on this site to wins friends and influence people.

    However, this was actually a fairly reasonable article.

    They do make this point: “even if false accusations are as common as 1-in-4, that means 75 percent of reports are probably accurate and, so, all accusations deserve a thorough and professional investigation.”

    I agree that there are false accusations. I don’t think we have good data on what a false accusation is and how frequent they are.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    I’m a social scientist by training, so the first question I have when I see a stat, is how do they determine that stat – in other words, what constitutes a false report? Because I see a big difference between a report that cannot be proven, not be substantiated, not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence and a false report. In this case you are alleging that her claim is false that she was raped and that she knowing lied. Do we have data to show that 41% of raped allegations the victims knowingly lied or do we simply have data that shows that 41% of the time they do not gain a conviction which covers a myriad of explanations.

  20. Fight Against Injustice

    David: I also agree with you that all rape accusations should be thoroughly investigated. The problem with this case is that the detective did not thoroughtly investigate it. He didn’t talk to her family, friends, boyfriends, neighbors or teachers. He never checked the various crime scenes where she said the rapes occurred. He just took her word for it.

  21. Primoris

    FAI wrote:[quote]Here’s a story from Fox News that says 1 out of 5 that rape allegations are false. [/quote]

    Ergo, 80% of “rape allegations are true.

  22. Primoris

    [quote]Mr. Easley described himself as a light sleeper and a night owl who often lay awake at night, sleepless.[/quote]

    Interesting, per the above “story,” Ben Easley does NOT assert that on the actual night in question he was awake, heard, or saw anything one way or another.

    What is also noteworthy about Terry Easley’s statement is that she does not articulate how many rooms in her apt., whether the doors were closed/open, and more importantly WHY she allowed a young girl to sleep with an adult male and two boys, while she and her sister slept [quote]no more than 10 to 15 feet away from them[/quote] — again no mention of whether or not they were in a bedroom behind a closed door? She conveniently failed to mention whether or not her apt was a “studio” or a one-bedroom (or more) residence. Hmmm…

    Another interesting tidbit published, by this site’s author, regarding Peggy Dev: [quote]No one can tell me what my life was. I lived it. So, I feel an obligation of conscience to make sure the truth does come out. [/quote]

    Based on the foregoing, one is left to surmise that the minor child, victimized by the convicted sex offender, must have to adhere to a different standard?

    Using her logic – people can tell the victim what her life was, despite the fact that SHE lived it and NOT the commenter…Hmmm

  23. Fight Against Injustice

    If you listened to the accuser’s testimony, you would know that her story made no sense. She was found to be lying on several occasions. Even the jurors commented on other blogs that she was not credible. So it makes it difficult to believe the stories spun by this accuser.

  24. Primoris

    Fight Against Injustice, wrote: [quote] If you listened to the accuser’s testimony, you would know that her story made no sense. She was found to be lying on several occasions[/quote]

    FAI, the fact of the matter is that 12 jurors did and decided accordingly, correct?

  25. Primoris

    DMG [quote]That used to mean more to me than it doenow. [/quote]

    I appreciate your posture as I’m sure countless others still appreciate our — one of if not the very best justice systems in the world.

  26. David M. Greenwald

    It may be one of the best in the world and still be flawed. Regardless, I think countless others have not been observing jury trials for the last seven months.

  27. Fight Against Injustice

    As we all know, there is no such things as a flawless criminal justice system. We are not expecting perfection, but it sure would be nice to have a judicial system that wasn’t so bent on getting convictions that the point of justice gets lost.

    I don’t think it is too much to ask for a judicial system where someone investigates the allegations put forth before automatically pushing the case to trial. Then to ask the prosecutors to tell the truth of what they have found instead of finding ways to cover up or misrepresent the case in order to win.

  28. Primoris

    FAI wrote: [quote]I don’t think it is too much to ask for a judicial system where someone investigates the allegations put forth before automatically pushing the case to trial.[/quote]

    Based on your comment it appears you don’t quite understand our current system? I don’t believe “trials” are being “pushed.”

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