Parts of this post were used in Aggravated.
Texas v. Munsen – The Social Media Attack
On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, the second day of the Munsen trial (the first day Dixon appeared in court), Janice Deal, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of the Deep Springs School District, sent an email to about 140 people entitled “URGENT Prayer Request for 2 little girls.” In the email, Ms. Deal said that Ada Dixon had called her and asked for them to “PRAY HARD” for her and the two girls who were going to testify against their father that day. The email gave the girls’ ages (6 and 8), and stated as fact that the girls had “been sexually abused by their father from a very young age.” Is this another example of Believe the Victim? (See here, here, and here if you missed those posts)
The email went on to say “Ada will be testifying right before them and will be under terrible attack from the defense attorney trying to discredit her and discredit what the girls have disclosed to her through counseling. She said this is the worst case she has seen in her 21 years of counseling, and that is why she is asking for prayers today. If this man is found not guilty, he will have access to these little girls again and who knows what will happen to them.” It closed by saying, “I thank God that there are people like Ada who are there to support and stand with the innocents who are hurting and reveal Christ to them when they most need him in their lives. PLEASE PRAY RIGHT NOW — THEY NEED US!”
The next day, Wednesday, Ms. Deal sent out a second email, updating the situation (as Dixon had relayed it to her). She said “Due to legal complications and defense stalling, neither she or the girls were able to testify today.” She added that “Ada hopes to be able to testify tomorrow…but is not sure about the girls.” Deal closed with another exhortation to pray for Ada and the girls, but later that day she sent out another follow-up, saying, “Well, once again Ada’s testimony on behalf of the little girls has been delayed. The other side really, really does not want her to take the stand, understandably. However, she is now scheduled for tomorrow morning so hopefully that will happen. It’s even possible that a verdict could come in tomorrow afternoon so please pray for justice to take place.”
Thursday afternoon Deal sent two more emails. “I just spoke with Ada and she was on the stand for 4 ½ hours today testifying on behalf of those little girls. She also had to defend herself against a very aggressive defense attorney who was trying to discredit her in every way possible. I think he met his match! Now we just need to pray that the jury will be able to see the truth and justice will be served for these little girls.” The second email encouraged the recipients to continue to pray because the jury was deliberating at that moment. A final email was sent the next day, announcing that Mr. Munsen was found guilty of all nine counts, and closed with “THANK YOU, JESUS and all of you who have prayed all week.”
There’s more. Later that day, Lixon posted on her Facebook page, “First of all, I want to thank you for your prayers this week. In 21 years I HAVE NEVER mentioned anything of what goes on in my practice. But there is something different about this case…THESE LITTLE GIRLS HAVE SUFFERED THE ABSOLUTE WORST SEXUAL ABUSE I HAVE EVER SEEN! I feel I have been fighting the forces of HELL trying to get it tried. The courtroom was intense…5+ hours on the stand.”
So, what’s wrong with all that?
Dixon was an expert witness in the case. Once a trial is underway, the jury and everyone involved with the case are sworn to not discuss it with anyone until the trial is over. Dixon not only talked about it to others, she gave details about the case (what the charges were, that it was two little girls who were allegedly abused by their father, and the girls’ ages), and she encouraged someone to spread that information among her community, which could have fostered resentment and bias against the defendant. I don’t know whether a correct verdict was rendered in the case, but Dixon violated the rules of the court by relaying any information about the trial to anyone.
Look at the sentences above, “I just spoke to Nina and she was on the stand today for 4 ½ hours testifying,” and “5+ hours on the stand,” and the complaints in the emails about the defense stalling and trying to keep Dixon from testifying. Were they accurate? No. The defense and the prosecution both wanted to move the trial forward. I believe that Dixon was the one who was stalling, trying to keep her materials out of the hands of the defense. Everyone on the prosecution’s side in Steve’s trial, including Dixon, had a tendency to exaggerate events to make themselves look better, or to make the crime seem more egregious. That was happening here too. On the day in question, Dixon’s testimony began at 9:00 am. It ended just before 12:30 pm. By my calculation, that’s roughly 3 ½ hours, not 4 ½, and certainly not 5+ hours. Dixon, in my opinion, employed similar methods in Steve’s trial, stretching the truth about various things to make her version of the case, and make herself in the process, sound better.
As further proof that Dixon spread this information far and wide, we need to look no further than her Facebook page. On February 6, 2013, she made this comment. “Since so many of you have contacted me the last few days regarding the outcome of the Sexual Abuse case I testified in last week…here are the results: GUILTY ON ALL 9 COUNTS!!!! 33 YEARS PRISON!!! NO PAROLE!!! PTL & thank you for your PRAYERS on behalf of these 2 little GIRLS and their MOM.”
“So many of you” is the important phrase here. Against the instructions from the court, she was apparently blabbing about this trial all over the place. Her comment above about “fighting the forces of HELL, trying to get it tried” is also interesting. She had no business trying to get a trial started. She’s a counselor, not a prosecutor or a DA, but she may have gone way beyond her legal duties as a counselor in the Munsen case. I’ll look at that in the next post.
Standard Disclaimer: Please post a comment below if you would like to. All comments are personally moderated by a grouchy old guy, though, so posts by self-promotional schemers, spammers, and lunatic ranters won’t make it through. Everyone else, whether your thoughts about this story are positive or negative, please feel free to speak your mind, but don’t ask me to reveal the identities of any of these individuals. Thanks.