Orange County's Chrisstian Pax Joseph Manshack lied on his U.S. passport application so he could flee the country for Asia in the hopes of outrunning domestic violence charges.
But any relief Manshack felt when he first landed in Thailand evaporated while in China.
Communist agents arrested him for overstaying his welcome and tossed him into a nasty, mountain prison that had scary military guards and no windows to shield occupants from cold weather.
Manshack was forced to march, prevented from cleaning, crapped in a stinky hole, ordered to memorize Chinese rules and given tiny amounts of rice to eat and water to drink each day.
He quickly lost 30 pounds and feared he'd never get out.
The nightmare lasted 70, grueling days until Chinese officials deported him back to California.
Nowadays, Manshack–a Louisiana native who grew up in the San Jose area–thinks that he's got it good inside the relatively luxurious Santa Ana Jail.
Because lying on a passport application is a felony–he concocted a fake letter claiming a business event in Thailand, Assistant United States Attorney Sandy N. Leal at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana sought a 10-month prison term.
But this week, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney sentenced Manshack, a 34-year-old Yorba Linda resident, to a term of eight months of incarceration.
Carney probably liked that Manshack has taken responsibility for his criminal past (which includes robbery), grew up in an abusive childhood and endured the horrors of a Chinese prison camp.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.