While working as a Garden Grove Police Department cop, Jesse Andrew Green forcibly sodomized three women—Gina, Marissa and Abigail—during dates and that’s why he’s now known inside California’s Valley State Prison as inmate AS0384.
But Green has been arguing for half a decade to anyone who will listen that the Huntington Beach Police Department officer who investigated his case, Michael Szyperski, perjured himself during the 2013 trial and falsified records.
The alleged police deceit was so alarming that a prosecutor labeled it “shameful” and the trial judge called it “unscrupulous.”
In 2016, a California Court of Appeal panel felt similarly, declaring, “This case tells the tale of two police officers whose actions do nothing to improve the embattled reputation of law enforcement personnel in modern day America.”
But that three-justice panel also opined that a jury reasonably found Green guilty despite questions surrounding Szyperski’s ethics, even noting that the Huntington Beach cop may have been “crooked” while helping to convict the rapist Garden Grove cop but declaring it would be too drastic to overturn the case on that point.
Green appealed his status to the U.S. District Court of the Ninth Circuit last year by claiming Szyperski tainted his trial beyond repair and that his criminal defense attorney, Laguna Beach-based John Barnett, botched his professional obligations by failing to adequately undermine the credibility of the victims.
Prosecutors had accused Green of going on separate dates with the three women, taking them home after they were intoxicated and, though the ladies agreed to intercourse, found themselves placed on their stomachs and sodomized over their objections.
According to court records, one victim recalled the cop tossing her body on the bed, pushing her face into a pillow, grabbing her hair, calling her a whore, spitting on her anus and then committing the crime as she cried.
“[Green] argues in this writ petition that his trial lawyer rendered ineffective assistance by failing to introduce evidence relating to the credibility of the alleged victims, or to investigate evidence showing the victims’ claims were false or exaggerated,” wrote appellate attorney Patrick Morgan Ford. “This was especially important where there was no physical evidence of guilt and the case was a credibility contest between the petitioner and the alleged victims.”
Green also submitted a detailed timeline he claims undermine the charges.
But the California Attorney General’s Office—which almost always finds excuses to ignore egregious police corruption—conceded that Green had “exploited” his status as a cop to gain the trust of his victims and sided with the trial judge that Barnett acted professionally in his tactical trial decisions for his client.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen E. Scott studied the case in-depth and wrote a 42-page recommendation.
“Petitioner suggests that the Court of Appeal improperly analyzed [his claims] because it ‘did not analyze whether the detective’s actions were shocking to the conscience or violated the community’s sense of fair play,’” Scott determined. “This court disagrees.”
This month inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna accepted Scott’s findings and closed the case.
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.