The following information about our "benevolent" police state and its illegal tactics was gained by personal experience. My purpose though is not just to seek justice in this one incident, but rather to show the public how these illegal tactics are routinely used by our law enforcement agencies in the "War on Crime".
The success of the Law Enforcement Scam described on these pages depends on its victims choosing to quietly accept jail time and a conviction record rather than have their private thoughts, past improprieties, and sexual fantasies becoming public record. I, on the other hand have chosen to fight every way I can, which means making it ALL public.
Disclaimer, Statement of authenticity, Why I am a Politically Incorrect Parent, and a Response to an accusation. Okay, so I'm not perfect, but what I present here, is in fact true.
Around 1988 the audio forensic experts that work for the F.B.I. and for various courts around the country, pretty much all came to the same conclusion: that the technologies of computers and acoustics had reached the point where someone could falsify a tape recording and if he knew what he was doing and didn't make any clumsy mistakes, that a subsequent analysis of that tape would not be able to prove that alterations had in fact been made. Reference: American Jurisprudence Trials, Volume 48, "Audio Tape Evidence, Experts and Technology" -- available in legal libraries. At that time the FBI. considered this a serious negative event since you now would not be able to prove that tape evidence was un-altered.
Several years later, a different Federal Law Enforcement agency, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, decided in its "War on Crime" and its "Protection of Children" that the "Ends justifies the Means". It would use the ability to alter tape-recorded evidence to catch the "bad guys". They concocted an entrapment scam so blatantly active that normally it would be laughed out of court except for the planned alteration of the tape evidence and the use of other tricks such as the misuse of "Confidential Informant" laws, all necessary to cover up the entrapment scam's active nature. This scam was well thought out; I am sure they figured out all the possible moves and counter moves that a potential victim/opponent might make and how to respond, all as if it were a game of chess.
The following is an account of how that scam progressed in my case, and the information and evidence that I have been able to acquire about the subsequent crimes committed by the San Jose Police, the US Postal Inspection Service and the "Justice" system:
To help fight this type of abuse by our police and the "Justice" system please do the following:
E-mail address of John Webster: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Back to main menu .
Lt. Brenda Herbert of the San Jose Police Department, proclaims her guilt with her silence!
With statements about her in this web-site, statements in campaign literature and cable-TV ads, the above mobile billboard that has circled the San Jose Police station for hours at a time, and in letters and phone calls to her neighbors, it is obvious that Brenda would have plenty of justification for suing me for slander and to stop my statements about her. The only problem is that my statements are true; and she is too scared to chance meeting me in court where I just might be able to prove my allegations. Please call the San Jose Chief of Police Robert L. Davis (408-277-4212) and demand that they actually investigate my accusations of Lt. Herbert and others, or at the least file charges against me for making False Accusations against the Police (“No, no please don’t through me into the briar patch” says Brair Rabbit). It is best for the San Jose Police and their public image if they do.
Also for the good of the San Jose police force and for the redemption of her soul, Lt. Herbert needs to confess her evil deeds and those of others in the San Jose Police Department, and in the US Postal Inspection Service that helped her commit these heinous crimes.
Interesting Note: As it turns out after she sold her soul Officer Herbert was assigned to Internal Affairs. It probably is a good bet that this happened around the time of my initial accusations against the S.J. Police (and specifically Officer Herbert) for altering tape evidence in my case (S. J. Police have refused to specify actually when she was assigned but it probably started after her undercover assignment and ended several years ago). Apparently, the Brass of the S. J. Police Department, who apparently knew of, and approved of, these tactics of altering evidence to get the "bad guys", wanted to place her in the unit where she could best be protected from accusations of impropriety.
This is a classic example that shows that the San Jose Police Department is totally incapable of "policing" its self. It may even show that the San Jose Police Department is in violation of the Federal RECO acts; ie. that it is an Organized Criminal Enterprise and should be shut down.
In March of 2003, after many months of my driving the Bad Cops Billboard Truck around City Hall and the Police Department Admin building, the San Jose City Government (avoiding addressing the real issue of my accusations of Police Corruption at all cost) slapped me with a Work-place Violence Restraining Order to stop me from driving that truck within 300 yards of the Police Admin building or City Hall. Allegedly I was Harassing a City Employee (Lt. Herbert, a police officer) at her work place (the Police Department). So much for Free Speech Rights, or for the Police Department serving the Public.
To go directly to Fighting the Restraining Order, click here.Back to "The Scam" menu.
The LAWS: Enforcing the majority's cultural values (or tyranny of the Politically Correct).
One of the main pitfalls of a Democracy/Republic government is that of it becoming a "Tyranny of the Majority" where the cultural values of the majority are imposed, at the point of a gun, onto the minority with different values. Remember that society morally can only infringe on the life, liberty, or property of someone who has first given up his natural rights by having violated the rights of others [see Basic Morality].
In our society there are two main areas that have become tyrannical. The first is the enforcement of drug laws and the second is in the enforcement of the cultural standards in the raising of children, particularly in as far as sex is concerned.
Over the past years, any bill in the legislature that purported to be against sexual child abuse easily became law since it would be political suicide to vote against it. Yet many of the add-on's to those bills had little to do with child abuse and everything to do with enforcing Politically Correct parenting. For example, under current California State law it now is a felony offense punishable by many years in prison to give the advice to say your 15 year old son that "A good sexual encounter at your age might be with an older woman, say in her mid twenties" You don't have to have a particular woman in mind and he doesn't even have to take your advice. Giving the advice is the crime.
The entrapment scam described in these pages used another part of the same law, the part concerning "Offering to provide minors". The word "offering" being interpreted loosely to not require anything in exchange nor even require the ability of the exchange to even take place. The victim of the entrapment would be arrested for talking about how the two of them (the victim and the undercover policewoman) could raise their collective children if they ran off together. His crime would be the desire to raise his children in a sexually liberal environment.
Any person who intentionally gives, transports, provides, or makes available, or who offers to give, transport, provide, or make available to another person, a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of any lewd or lascivious act as defined in Section 288, or causes, induces, or persuades a child under the age of 16 to engage in such an act with another person, is guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term of three, six, or eight years, and by a fine not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
Notes: I believe in the original law the age started out at 10, but with the "get tough on child abuse" mentality the age was increased to 14 then later to the 16. As previously stated, the "offer" clause does not require anything in exchange, nor even the ability to do the "providing". The "persuades" clause was determined not to require any action by the "child" for the adult/parent to be guilty. Therefore it includes the giving of advice that the "child" does not act upon.
Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act,.... Upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 [or 16] years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.
Notes: The "or the child" phrase above makes this law (and 266j) that supposedly is against the "Child Abuser" now also goes against the Political Incorrect parents that would want to arrange a pleasant sexual experience for their teenager. Also, the "any part [of the body]" phrase has also been interpreted to include the eyes and ears of the child, so that the telling of a sexual joke or the showing of a sexual picture to a minor is also covered.
Back to "The Scam" menu.
The Entrapment: Catching the "thought" criminal
With the "Child Abuse" laws in place, including the portions targeting the Politically Incorrect parent, our police could start going after these people, putting them in jail. There of course was the problem that these "crimes" were done in the privacy of people’s homes and there wasn't really any victim to call police. So a Federal Task force, made up of agents of the US Postal Inspection Service, and State and local Law enforcement agencies, was created to formulate an entrapment scam to get these parents.
The US Postal Inspection Service supplied to this Task Force their expertise at entrapment, their experience at the abuse of the "Confidential Informant" laws, and their ability to commit mail fraud without getting caught (since they are the agency that enforces the laws against mail fraud). It is also highly probable that they supplied the expertise and equipment necessary to do the more sophisticated audio tape edits that were done.
The first element of the entrapment that had to be designed was the bait to attract the desired victim. An ad was placed in the California Swinger's Digest by a "Confidential Consultant" of the US Postal Inspection Service. The ad read :White female with children, seeks the right
(note: there is a dispute over whether the word "family" was "children")
The ad was clearly targeting sexual liberal single/divorced men who believed in the right of the parents to decide what the proper level of exposure to sexual matters was for the raising of their own children. A letter several years ago from the Chief Postal Inspector in response to an inquiry from Congressman Don Edwards, claims that this ad was targeting people interested in child pornography. I think not.
The Postal Inspection Consultant would then respond by letter with those people that answered the ad. He would pretend to be a woman interested in an open and honest relationship. The man "she" would be interested in supposedly would also have to be supportive of the way she wanted to raise her children (initially undefined, but getting more bazaar with each contact).
After a number of letters back and forth, the identity of the ad writer would be passed to a local undercover policewoman who would then call the victim. She would direct the conversations into a cross between a psychotherapy session and phone sex saying "Tell me your true feelings and desires, you can trust me".
Example from February 23rd evidence tape:
B} Oh, John you're so prim and proper when you talk about this.. (J} -Laughing-) You can be.. you can be free with me, I like to hear it. (J} Ok) It turns me on.
She would try and get the victim to reveal past indiscretions and personal secrets. She then would start going weird, soliciting sexual fantasies about children from the victim and trying to see how far she could get him to go along with her. [See Fantasy] She would of course resist any attempts of the victim to pursue a "normal" relationship.
Example from March 5t h evidence tape:
J} Y'know, maybe it would be good t.. for us to kind of, ah, meet with, y'know, basically, like we don't share all these things, these ideas and just really honestly, y'know, ah.. ah.. y'know, try actual dating. Y'know, that type, I don't know if that...
B} You mean, like meet and don't even talk about it ? (J} chuckle) I don't think I could do that.
J} (laughing).. Ok, alright, ok.
It is fairly obvious that the covering up of this entrapment scam's blatant active nature had to be worked out in its original design. It was accomplished on two levels. First, the ad and letters were hidden from the preliminary hearing (the only time any evidence is presented in court if a plea bargain is accepted), by using a split entrapment and tagging the ad and letter writer as a Confidential Informant. This allowed the undercover policewoman, who placed the phone calls, to avoid answering questions as to why she started calling the target victim and where she got his phone number:" I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that to do so would divulge the identity of a confidential informant".
The second level of covering up the scam's active nature was the planned editing of the tape recordings of the calls. This would be done to remove most of the talking of the undercover policewoman to make it sound like she was just a passive listener instead of having driven the conversations. Those evidence tapes would be kept their original length by eliminating one phone call and using the target victim's talk on that call as filler for the other tapes. This tape alteration had to be a premeditated part of the original design of the Scam.
Additional edits would be made to the evidence tapes in order to make the victim sound as evil as possible - ie., a potential child abuser --, to ensure that a jury would convict even if there was no real proof that any crime had even been committed during the phone calls (ie., no "offer" or "solicitation" had been made by the target victim).
I'm sure that the intent was for few, if any, of the cases resulting from this scam to actually reach trial. Most would be settled by Plea Bargain where the defendant would then loose his rights of Discovery. This would allow any loose ends that could prove the illegal nature of the Entrapment Scam, and any proof of the altered evidence, to be forever hidden.
And for those cases that did go to trial, the police would hopefully have enough information about past indiscretions revealed by the victim in the phone calls, to be able to get a conviction on those items even if a jury found that the phone calls themselves were mostly fantasy talk. This wasn't true in my case (although, the police may not have known this when they made the decision to arrest me), because any questionable activity between me and my children, that I had revealed in the phone calls (in exaggerated form to impress "Barbara") would have been clearly past the statue of limitations (six years -- starting from when accusations are made). This is true since I only had supervised visitation with my children for the previous six and a half years [see detailed biography], and at the beginning of that time my ex-wife (bless her soul) had me investigated by San Jose Police. That investigation in 1983 had found that there was insufficient evidence to charge me with any crime.
In the final analysis the only requirements for this entrapment scam to succeed in convicting an innocent man and destroying his life, is that he answer the ad, is desperate for companionship, enjoys phone sex, and is willing to discuss controversial social ideas.
Back to "The Scam" menu.
The Evidence: interpreted and controlled by police
It must be a requirement of being a police officer working in the Sexual Exploitation unit, or of being a prosecutor working on their cases, to have the ability to successfully argue that totally normal behavior is proof of sexual perversion. Perhaps they take an oral exam where they have to argue convincingly that the Pope and Hillary Clinton are both pedophile. Some of this stuff would actually be humorous if real peoples lives weren't on the line (like mine was) .
This description was given by police to an index box and the 3x5 cards inside that were taken as evidence in the warranted search of my place of residence. I had kept notes on those cards of all my past and present girl friends. The police noted that nearly all of cards included the names and ages of those women's children. The mere fact that I apparently sought out women that had children, for relationships, put me in suspicion.
This was the description of a pamphlet that was also taken as evidence. While this description is accurate, they forgot to mention that it was published by the Planned Parenthood organization and that the title was "How to talk to your teenager about sex".
Proof of his sexual interest in his son:
During the preliminary hearing, the question was asked of my ex-wife "When did you first notice John Webster showing a sexual interest in his son ?". The answer she gave -- that was accepted -- was "Once when the children were visiting him, he talked our son into going skinny-dipping in his back yard pool". Actually once my son was off enjoying himself, I pretty much ignored him (my real fault) to the point that he got sun burned on his bottom. This is how his mom came to find out about this incident.
Control of Evidence:
San Jose Police refused to release copies to me, of the data on my computers hard drive or its back-up diskettes that were in their possession, "Until all appeals have been completed and there is no further legal action". Their motivation was of course, to prevent me and my attorney from getting the evidence by which we could successfully mount an appeal.
When the police did finally release my computer in June of 1995, we quickly determined that it did have evidence that would have helped prove my innocence and the guilt of police. The date time stamp on some files showed that police accessed those files on my hard drive the Monday following my arrest; they would have quickly determined that there was nothing there that could be used against me, but they kept my computer for five and one half years as harassment and for just in case there was evidence on it I could use against them. As it turned out, there was a record on the computer's hard drive of the date and time of the extra phone call that the undercover policewoman made to me.
The following is a letter from prosecution that was received in response to our request for copies of my hard drive and its backup diskettes. It states that they can't give us copies since that would endanger the evidence on the hard drive (Yea, right).
****** Graphics of Letter page 1 (slightly enhanced for readability)
****** Graphics of Letter page 2
February 25, 1993
Mr. S. Clay Bedford 28 N. First Street, Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95113
Re: People v. John Webster CA. Court of Appeal No. H009741 Superior Court Case No. 139218 Municipal Court No. CSW 5936 Dear Mr. Bedford: At the request of Deputy District Attorney Michele McKay McCoy, I discussed with her your letter dated February 9, 1993 and am authorized to convey the following: Sealed Affidavit The Search Warrant in this case contains an Order by the court to seal the contents of the Affidavit. Sealing of the Affidavit by the Court for good cause does not violate Penal Code Section 1534. Therefore, the Affidavit shall remain under seal unless and until further order of the court is made upon a motion by defendant.
Return of Property At the present time, the return of Mr. Webster's property is premature. Penal Code Section 1536 provides that "[a]ll property or things taken on a warrant must be retained by the officer in his custody" subject to court order. Such property shall remain in police custody until the conclusion of any further proceedings, including appeals pursuant to Penal Code Sections 1538.5. and 1466.
The computer and related equipment you are requesting were property listed in a valid Search Warrant. Since defendant Webster's case is still pending on appeal, it is possible that this property may be needed by the District Attorney as evidence against Mr. Webster at a subsequent proceeding. For these reasons, the property you are requesting on behalf of Mr. Webster will not be returned before the conclusion of defendant's case.
******** Page Break
S. Clay Bedford February 25, 1993 Page 2
Copying of Hard Drive Computer data is not tangible property and could be accidentally erased, Which would result in destruction of evidence. Consequently, Mr. Webster's computer hard drive may not be copied by a computer technician from either party until the end of this case.
Although Mr. Webster may suffer an inconvenience, Mr. Webster's property is being retained by the San Jose Police Department pursuant to law.
*** Signature of Edmund Gil ***
EDMUND C. GIL Attorney
It is interesting how these laws and codes end up allowing police to hold onto (and thereby hide) evidence that could be used against them.
Back to "The Scam" menu.
(For best results use a computer and Web Browser that can play .WAV files)
After all the work that the Fed's and local San Jose police did to try to get me to break the law (to get me cross the line of fantasizing to make an actual solicitation or "offer") , in the final analysis the only "crimes" that they could get me on was saying the following words :
(from March 5th evidence tape)
J} .Also the other thing., if.. if I'm going to help you with your kids, are you going to h.. try to help me with.. with mine ?
J} But I did strongly hint that my son.. mean, that you might be willing to teach him anything he wanted to know [about sex].
And in a second incident:
Where the undercover policewoman kept pressuring me to commit to allowing her to be sexual with a ten year old boy at my residence. I finally agreed to but only if the impossible happened: if the boy's mother would allow us to take him to the nude beach. I knew this would never happen because the mother was very protective of her son and had told me on several occasions that she herself would never go to the nude beach ("and stop asking!").
(from March 8th evidence tape)
J} I'm pretty sure his mom wouldn't let him go (B} Uh) but if we ever went y'know, ah.., you an I and your kids ever went to the nudist beach. (B}Uh huh) that might be able to pull off getting him (B}Ah huh) to come along maybe. So..
B} And not telling his mom ?
J} What ?
B} And not telling his mom.
J} No, no, actually asking her. Y'know..
B} Oh, okay..
(And later on the same tape - Note: I am absolutely convinced that the words "his mom into letting" were removed after the word "talk" and that the "'ta" and "ing" were added)
B} Well, do.. do you ever think it might go further then that ? I mean do you have.. (*Click*)
J} Well, that's (B}..plans.) y'know, the kind of thing that can only y'know, see.. if we did talk (*edit* removed "his mom into letting") him'ta going to the nude beach (B} Huh) th.. then of course it opens up a whole ah.. y'know, lots of possibilities. (*Click*)
B} Like what ?
(followed by fantasy sex talk)
(from March 8th evidence tape)
B} Well, now if we went camping up there, on July fourth..
(There followed several minutes of discussion of camping equipment, camp site reservations, and weather, followed by a short discussion of the details of the sexual experiences I would like my son to have.)
B} Well, y'know, can we get a little personal here ?
J} Yea, sure.
B} Well, who's doing what to whom ?
J} Okay, this is ah.. with me and then him doing these things to you.
B} Oooh. (J} Okay) Okay, this is you..
J} I would.. Y'know, kind of show and tell, y'know.
[break to make two smaller sound files]
B} Oh, I see, a little instruction.
J} Yea, a little instruction.
B} So, you were seeing this like ah, if we went up July forth this might happen.
J} Yea, sure.
Please note the word might and that this had about as much chance of happening as me winning the lottery [see transcript of Prelim: Ex-wife discussing visitation]. Unfortunately, the law is written so that an "Offer to provide" does not require the ability to deliver. So, whether or not I would spend the next 12 years in prison would depend on whether a jury thought the above conversation was an "Offer".
Looking back, I suppose that I wanted to be able to offer my 14 year old son this meeting, in order to entice him into trying to break away from his mothers control. I knew that his mother would never let him go with me unsupervised, but if he tried it would end up making her the "evil overprotective mother" in my son's eyes.
In the phone call, immediately upon me saying the above words, the undercover policewoman, believing that she had caught me committing my heinous crime, switched the conversation to discussion of how and where we could meet the following day (for the first time).
J} Yea, go ahead.. yea.
B} So I'm thinking that maybe we could meet at a coffee shop or something, and just sort of get to know each other, (J Okay.. ) Thats all right ?
J} Yea, sure. Um..
I was arrested within 30 seconds of that meeting, enough time for her to confirm my identity. Later in a sworn statement [See "Sworn Misstatement"] she claims that the meeting was "to confirm the offer of his children for sexual purposes."
The charges against me were three counts of "Offering to provide children to another for lude and lascivious acts", with my two children and the ten year old boy "The Victims" since I had include their names in some of my fantasies. I was facing twelve years in prison.
After six months in jail awaiting trial, I was offered a plea bargain for one year in county jail (ie. effectively two more months) and the charges were reduced to "Attempting to offer to provide children to another for lude and lascivious acts". An unexpected provision of my probation (Resulting from my ex-wife's insistence) was that I would be allowed NO contact with my children.
the charges that I have made, that of police using illegal entrapment, blatantly altering evidence, lying under oath; the courts, police, and public defender violating my rights, etc. those of course are all just superfluous and unworthy of even being investigated. (NOT!)
Back to "The Scam" menu.
it probably is a combination of factors. The system has a huge incentive to under-fund and over book the Public Defender resources. After all, as far as the system is concerned the whole Public Defender concept is just for public relations, to give the illusion to the public, that the system is just. Plus, the public defender knows where their money comes from, they are paid to do a job, but not too well.
And of course, the "Justice" system would grind to a halt if too many defendants actually went to trial, this means that the P.D. has to cooperate to reduce the trial calendar, so his job really becomes one of bargaining with prosecution for the best Plea Bargain, then convincing the defendant to accept it.
The Plea Bargain System, it's kind of a poor mans justice, the more likely that the defendant is really innocent, the better his plea bargain will be. The police/prosecution get their conviction, and the innocent man walks away with only a year in jail ("time served") and a felony record. Come to think of it, it works well for the system and for the guilty, but not so well for the innocent.
I am convinced that a lot more went on. I believe my Public Defender (John Vaughn), after about four months into my incarceration, actually was actively working to sabotage my case. This probably occurred after it was figured out that if my case went to a trial, that I would not only be able to prove my innocence but would also be able to prove the alteration and hiding of evidence.
The only solution was for my public defender to misrepresent the facts in my case to me, to make me feel that my case was hopeless so that I would accept a plea bargain. With a plea bargain, the police would get their "conviction", the evidence could remain hidden, and the city and county could be protected against a law suit. After the plea bargain was accepted, he then failed to transfer important evidence to my private attorney in my appeal.
The main failure of the Public Defender demonstrated here is that he is in control of what evidence the defendant is aware of. The defendant is put into the situation of having to make critical decisions based on what is told him by the Public Defender, yet the defendant has no way of later proving that he was lied to.
While I still do not know if the failures of the Public Defender were intentional or accidental resulting from the over booking of his workload, I do have to give credit to PD John Vaughn for his testimony in a court hearing (February 18, 2000). The prosecution was trying to show that I was forced into taking whatever plea bargain was offered me (ie. that if I had been offered a plea bargain that required me to register I would have had to take it). John Vaughn correctly testified that back in 1990 I felt I was innocent of all charges, and that I foremost wanted to vindicate myself. He stated that only after intensive persuasion by him did I reluctantly accept a plea bargain and only then if I could be promised that I would not have to register as a "sex offender". In effect, PD John Vaughn showed that the prosecution's argument was totally without merit.
Back to "The Scam" menu.
Three Grand Juries have failed to be interested in my allegations of San Jose Police altering tape recorded evidence. They have not even given me the opportunity to present my evidence (which partly is why I am presenting it here for the public to see). The last bothering to explain their rejection was the 1995-1996 Santa Clara County Grand Jury, headed by Foreperson Nancy Freeman, as shown by the composite copy of her letter below.
One has to be curious as to reason why this Grand Jury was not interested in investigating these allegations particularly since the primary responsibly of a Grand Jury is to root out official corruption . Perhaps it was one or more of the following reasons:
***************** Graphics of this letter *******************
Text Composite version:
January 11, 1996
Mr. John Webster 1556 Halford Avenue, #132 Santa Clara, CA 95051
Dear Mr. Webster:
The Grand Jury has carefully considered the allegations contained in your letter of November 1, 1995. Please be advised that allegations against the U.S. Postal Service Employees and those of state agencies are outside of the purview of the Grand Jury as delineated within the Penal Code of the State of California.
Allegations against the City of San Jose Police Department may be the subject of a Grand Jury investigation. However, after carefully considering your complaint, this Grand Jury has elected to take no further action. The Grand Jury considers this matter closed.
Note: The following unsolicited and anonymous response to an article about this web-site turned up on GloboCopWatch :
Hi John, I was a member of the 1997-98 Grand Jury and will agree with you on your assessment of this years Grand Jury. The District attorneys office and other officials repeatedly told members of the Jury not to touch certain cases. It seemed also that there were those that were sweet talked and went along with the district attorneys office. At your earliest please contact me through this e-mail address. I would like to get together with you to discuss this in person ASAP. Thanks for what you are doing.
Note: No e-mail address was included.
Back to "The Scam" menu.
The design of The Scam included hiding and falsifying so much evidence that the defendant would realize that there was no way he could get a fair trial. He then would feel his only real option was the accepting of a plea bargain. The police would then hide all their crimes behind the acceptance of that plea bargain. In most cases they needed the defendant to accept that plea bargain. This was particularly true in my case since I had committed no crime on the phone, and there was nothing in my past that I could legitimately be arrested for.
I had made it quite clear to my public defender, that I would NOT accept any plea bargain that included the requirement that I had to register as a sex offender.
My intent was to prove my innocence once I was out of jail, but if I failed to accomplish this I knew I could still survive unscathed if I was only a "felon". But I realized I couldn't survive if I had to endure the public stigma of being a "Sex Offender". I knew having this modern day "Scarlet Letter" would prevent me from being accepted into our society. And of course this stigma would be totally undeserved since I was no way a threat to the individuals in our society.
Then along came Megan's law. And related laws that increased the scope of these registration requirements. These laws required that people that had been convicted of these additionally covered "crimes" for as far back as 1955 had to now register as "Sex Offenders" with the local police. My "Crimes" were now covered by these laws.
These laws are clearly unconstitutional. The Constitution clearly forbids "Ex Post Facto" laws that make an act committed before the law was enacted illegal, or that significantly increase the punishment for these previously committed acts. In many instances this is also "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" as in my case. My "Crime" was talking with an undercover policewoman about how I would like to raise my children. And for this I have to register for the rest of my life as if I am dangerous to society. And of course this registration requirement in my case is an example of the State not keeping its end of my plea bargain.
The "Official Response" is as follows: The Registration Requirement is not a form of punishment (yea, right) but is only administrative action to facilitate the solving of sexual crimes. And as for the plea bargain, the agreement to "not have to register as a sex offender" was not a formal part of the plea bargain but only a working requirement. The DA and Public Defender used that requirement to select a set of final counts to charge me with that was acceptable to me because they did not require me to register. Those selected charges now require my registration.
The good news is that due to this now having to register, I am now being "held" again. Being "held" is a significant requirement of being able to submit a Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Produce the Body that you are illegally holding") to open up the case and demand a trial, which has been done. In that Writ that was submitted to the California Supreme Court in October of 1998, we downplayed the "Alteration of Evidence" done by police. We instead concentrated on the fact that Registration was punishment, that this was an Ex Post Facto law, that it was Cruel and Unusual Punishment, and that it was a reneging of the plea bargain that I had accepted. We were asking for the Plea Bargain to be removed so that we could have a trail on the original charges.
You may view a PDF version of the Writ that we submitted to the State Supreme Court. It is in two parts: The Actual Writ and a Supporting Argument.
After 6 months of taking legal briefs from both sides as to the merits of this case, Judge John Ball finally had a court hearing on February 18, 2000. That hearing was to look at what was going on at the time I accepted the plea bargain in 1990, and how important in accepting that bargain was the fact that it included the fact that I not have to register as a "Sex Offender". In that hearing both PD John Vaughn and myself testified. Although that hearing went very much in our favor at the present time (February 23, 2000), the judge has not yet made his decision as to whether or not the facts in the case warrant the plea bargain to be vacated. If the judge rules in our favor the prosecution still may appeal the case, which will put a trial off another year.
Back to "The Scam" menu.
Judge Ball makes his ruling. He states that "Petitioner has made a showing that would entitle him to withdraw his plea" and then go to trial, except that there is another remedy which would better achieve justice. Judge Ball then declares that I, John Webster shall be an exception to Megan's Law and that I will just not have to register as a "convicted sex offender".
Judge Ball's reasoning was that "both the People would have a difficult time proving the crime, and Petitioner would have a difficult time proving his defense, a decade after the fact." This is rubbish. The "Crimes" (ie. talk/thought crimes) were supposedly caught on tape recordings of the phone calls; copies of those tapes are still available. The main witness is Officer Brenda Herbert who is still employed with the San Jose Police Department. So where is the problem with prosecuting the case?
Their real problem is that their main evidence would be used against them to prove that they had altered that evidence.
With this ruling I no longer am required to register, we therefore had no valid appeal. Prosecution could have appealed but they quickly chose not to and their deadline to appeal has passed. While this means that the San Jose Police and the US Postal Inspection Service may get away with their crimes, it does allow for me to get this felony conviction expunged. This clearing of my record should be accomplished by August 2000.
Picture files of Judge Ball's ruling: Page-1 Page-2 Page-3 Page-4 Page-5
Back to "The Scam" menu.
The Scam was to get the victim into a phone sex situation where he would be trying to fulfill her demands for fantasies which got weirder and weirder. I, being a trusting soul, would come up with anything she demanded as long as she said the magic word: That it was a fantasy.
In total, on the evidence tapes (even after editing by police) the word "fantasy" (& fantasizing, etc.) was used fifteen times. For example:
B} Can we.. ah look, can we finish my fantasy here for a second.
J} Yea, sure go ahead.
B} With [* Name of boy living at my household - beeped out by me*]. So, if I wore something that zips down the front, what.. what would happen?
(Note: some reduction of inter-word timing in this .WAV file, to reduce file size)
Prosecution presented the argument that the intended purpose of the relationship between myself and "Barbara" was for the realization of fantasies, therefore supposedly all of the expressed fantasies were things that I intended "Barbara" and myself to do in the future.
Apparently, to support this type of argument, some of the tape edits that were done were taking segments of my talking, out of context, and putting them immediately after a fantasy I expressed to make it sound like I intended to carry out that fantasy.
the following snippet of conversation actually came from the phone call of March 8th immediately following my talking about how I would like to spend some time alone with my daughter during my visitations, instead of in the presence of her mother or step father.
In the evidence tapes it showed up on the March 5th tape immediately following a far out sexual fantasy involving my daughter that I expressed saying "This is a fantasy". Effectively this edit transformed a desire on my part for time alone with my daughter, into the appearance of a desire to carry out the expressed fantasy. It transformed a question by "Barbara" of whether or not my daughter would want to be alone with me, into a question of whether or not my daughter would trust me enough to be tricked if the fantasy was to be carried out.
Was: (Talking about how I wanted time alone with my daughter)
Changed to: (Sexual Fantasy where daughter would be tricked into having a sexual experience)
B} You don't think she would remember um.. whats gone on in the past.. between you two?
J} She.. She ah.. shes affectionate to me, ok.
**Incidentally, several sentences later I answer her question with:
J} She doesn't have unpleasant things from th.. from the past.
And of course, most of the expressed fantasies had a certain amount of "suspend disbelief" or a jump in logic. For example, the camping trip to Washington where we would pick up my children when in reality I only had supervised visitation.
[Return to Entrapment]
This HTML document was updated 01/28/05 6:58 PM.