Multnomah County DA's Office

Fever to Convict Destroys Lives

DDA Charles Mickley’s failure to place justice and truth over his personal career goals remains consistent.  Growing is the devastation to families and the destruction of young lives that is a direct result of choosing courtroom gamesmanship over ethical practice.

[Evidenced in the Kate Parker (2014) and Trisha DeLaurent (2016) Medical Child Abuse cases]

Regarding State of Oregon v. Jeremy Cox*

“Not Guilty on all counts”… the most beautiful words imaginable to 18-year-old Jeremy Cox and his mother in a Multnomah County courtroom on December 4th, 2014. After a 4-day trial, the jury believed that Jeremy was innocent of all crimes (most of them Measure 11) charged against him by Deputy District Attorney Charles Mickley in connection to an unsubstantiated utterance made by a 6-year-old family member in the summer of 2013 when Jeremy was just 16 years old.

At the time of the alleged crimes, Jeremy and two siblings were visiting their mother in Portland, Oregon during the summer, and Jeremy babysat his younger siblings while his mother was at work.  All three children returned to their home state of Alaska after the visit. Jeremy lived with his biological father in Alaska, and the younger siblings lived with their biological father in the same state.

A comment made by Jeremy’s 6-year-old brother that was never corroborated outside of the utterance, led to an investigation that spanned from Oregon to Alaska involving authorities in both states.  Jeremy fully cooperated with investigators and he maintained his innocence during the entire ordeal.

In January 2015, after a jury determined that Jeremy was not guilty, his case was featured in an article by Susan Elizabeth Reese in The Oregon Defense Attorney, a journal published by the Oregon Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association.

During the initial investigation, Jeremy returned to Portland to live with his mother for the 2013-14 school year.  According to Reese’s article, “The investigation languished for 10 months, presumably during that time the two jurisdictions were exchanging information and pondering the proper forum.”

At the end of the school year, upon learning of a pending indictment, 17-year-old Jeremy appeared voluntarily in front of a Multnomah County judge for arraignment on June 6, 2014.   DDA Charles Mickley surprised Jeremy with charges of serious Measure 11 crimes including Sodomy in the First Degree and two counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. The high bail amount associated with the allegations was prohibitive to Jeremy’s release and he was taken immediately into custody.

After Jeremy’s defense team was unable to secure a bail reduction, he was transferred to Donald E. Long Juvenile facility where he would spend the next 5 months.  In October, one day after Jeremy’s 18th birthday, he was transferred to Multnomah County jail to await his December 2014 trial in the midst of adult prisoners, many of whom were repeat offenders, and some had been charged with capital crimes.

According to Reese’s article in The Oregon Defense Attorney, “When Bear Wilner-Nugent and his team jumped in to Jeremy’s case, they faced a Deputy District Attorney [Mickley] bent on conviction.”

Among other challenges noted in the article were excessive attempts on the part of DDA Mickley to disallow evidence critical and relevant to the case through Motions in Limine. Reese wrote, “The most difficult of these motions was the state’s effort to exclude Dr. Wendy Bourg’s testimony about the CARES-type interview, but the defense prevailed.” Dr. Bourg, whose testimony was pivotal in discrediting the assertions made by the prosecution and helping the jury to understand the evidence, participated in writing the child interviewing guidelines for the Oregon Department of Justice and  the state’s Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention Program.

Also credited to defense attorney Bear Wilner-Nugent in Reese’s article was the fact that the defense successfully short-circuited DDA Mickley’s attempts to get judicial permission for a “fishing expedition” into using drug treatment records from years prior to the alleged incident in an effort to vilify the defendant.

Jeremy Cox was acquitted of all charges and was released from jail three weeks before Christmas in 2014.  In January 2015, he returned to his Portland high school to attempt to catch up and earn his diploma.

*Name has been changed “Jeremy Cox” to protect his identity

Reese, Susan Elizabeth, the Oregon Defense Attorney, Volume XXXVI #1, Jan/Feb/Mar 2015, pp. 26-27.

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9 thoughts on “Fever to Convict Destroys Lives

  1. Can victims of this prosecutor do a class action lawsuit? This DDA needs to be disbarred and criminally charged!

  2. Yep. This sounds familiar. DDA Mickley followed a similar template with my case.

    He does not care about the truth. He does not care about doing what is right. He does not care that he destroys lives. And until someone exposes what he is doing and puts an end to his corruption and malicious prosecution of innocent people, DDA Mickley (and CARES Northwest and DHS) will continue on the same path.

    1. I was told I should add some specifics.

      Mickley withheld exculpatory evidence (evidence that is favorable to the defendant), forcing my attorneys to file a Motion to Compel Evidence and ask the judge for a hearing so that she could order Mickley to turn it over (he acted as though he had no idea my attorneys hadn’t received such important discovery up to that point).

      He lied to Hon. Judge Bloch at my first bail-reduction hearing in order to prevent my bail from being lowered sufficiently to allow me to post bail and get out of jail pending my trial. After my attorneys received the neurosurgeon’s interview where the police detective in my case (Erica Hurley) told the doctor that no one was questioning the surgeries that she did ~ that the prosecution’s side accepted the surgeries were medically necessary and therefore not abusive (which eventually led to the dismissal of 15 of Mickley’s charges against me) ~ my attorneys got me another bail-reduction hearing, and upon learning that the Measure 11 charges (Assault I x 4 counts) were unsubstantiated, Judge Bloch reduced my bail to $5,000 so I could get out of jail after paying $500. Quite a difference from the $1.145 MILLION that my bail started at, and it spoke to the weakness of Mickley’s case.

      Mickley lied to Judge Bloch to prevent me from having any contact with any members of my family once I got out of jail. While I was in jail for 189 days, I was able to have contact with my husband and adult-aged children only. Once I got out of jail, I was forbidden from having any contact with the adults in my family, as well, solely because of lies Mickley spewed to the judge. He was punitive and malicious in his actions.

      Mickley misrepresented the facts to Hon. Judge Nelson throughout my case.

      Mickley set the case over repeatedly. One time my case was close to the trial date, but because CARES Northwest doctor Cathleen Lang was pregnant and expecting to be on maternity leave during the month my trial was anticipated to be heard, Mickley asked for another delay. Why the State’s witness couldn’t testify while on maternity leave is beyond me, but Mickley felt that asking Lang to be separated from her baby for a few hours over the course of her testimony was too much of a hardship. He had so compassion for MY children, who were separated from their mother for 693 days. That particular set-over cost me another seven MONTHS away from my family because Mickley wouldn’t work out his schedule to accommodate the trial being set any earlier than that.

      Mickley lied to the Grand Jury to get the indictment he needed so he could arrest me (he had no probable cause, so he had to circumvent that by convening a secret Grand Jury and then lying profusely to them, as well as using witnesses who were willing to perjure themselves ~ some because they’d been intimidated into doing so, and two because they’re attention-seeking women who inserted themselves into the case and Mickley knew how to use that to his advantage. In order to obtain an indictment LEGALLY and ETHICALLY, a prosecutor has to prove to a Grand Jury that A) a crime occurred (he has to read the legal statute that was violated), B) that crime occurred within the prosecutor’s jurisdiction (ie: in Multnomah County), and C) that there is probable cause to believe the person he wants to indict (me, in this example) committed the crime. When one looks over the 42 felony charges and 1 misdemeanor charge that Mr. Mickley indicted me on, a logical and reasonable person would question HOW he managed to prove those three criteria to a Grand Jury, especially for the alleged crimes that, had they actually occurred (they didn’t), would have taken place in Ukraine. In what universe does DDA Chuck Mickley have jurisdiction in Ukraine? He doesn’t, yet the Grand Jury returned the indictment with four felony Criminal Mistreatment charges that Mickley told them occurred when I walked my newly-adopted daughters out of the orphanage. Four more Criminal Mistreatment charges were associated with my two adopted daughters’ first visits to their pediatrician in Medford, Oregon (Jackson County). Another four felony charges were for the adopted daughter who my family gave up custody to and “rehomed,” and that child never set foot in a Multnomah County doctor’s office! She came to Multnomah County ONE TIME ~ EVER!!! ~ and it was not for medical treatment, so there is no way Mickley could establish jurisdiction for any “crime” he believed may have occurred. The only “crimes” that could have taken place in Multnomah County were the surgeries that my son and daughter had, and the State admitted they had no issues with those, which is why those charges were dismissed. Also, Mickley is legally obligated to read the statute associated with the law that was allegedly broken in order to prove to a Grand Jury that a crime occurred, yet he admitted to my attorneys that he had not read the statute for one of the crimes I was charged with (Child Abandonment) because he’d been in a rush to get the indictment. I was told in May, 2014 that the State would be dismissing the Child Abandonment charge, but Mickley did not tell the Court (or the news media) this information until December, 2015. How did Mickley convince a Grand Jury to return an indictment? If he had followed legal and ethical procedure and presented the evidence he supposedly had and been honest with the GJ members, he would not have been successful in securing an indictment. If he was so sure I was a monster who had committed 43 crimes and he had copious proof to back up his assertions, why convene a secret Grand Jury to prevent my attorney and me from testifying/presenting evidence? The truth is, he didn’t have copious evidence. Mickley didn’t even have jurisdiction to allege that a crime had occurred. But that did not stop him from fabricating probable cause to obtain a warrant to search my home, nor did it stop him from fabricating fake crimes and exaggerating to the press and to several judges in his descriptions of me as a perpetrator of abuse.

      The ironic thing in all of this is that DDA Mickley accused me of fabricating, exaggerating, and manipulating doctors to get something he says I wanted (unnecessary medical treatment for three of my kids), yet HE is the one who fabricates, exaggerates and manipulates people to get what he wants from them. By his own definition, he’s an abuser. And in my opinion, he is a dangerous, vindictive, malicious, dishonest man who holds way too much power as a prosecuting attorney and should be removed from his position because he does not seek truth or justice. There should be no room for corruption in the legal realm, and the more I learn as a pre-law student, the more I recognize the wrong/unethical/malicious actions taken by DDA Chuck Mickley, not only in my case, but in Trisha DeLaurent’s case, as well.

      1. Thank you for sharing details of your story. Mickley should be disbarred for his actions towards your family. Instead of punishment he is allowed to continue his reign of false prosecution. The fact that state officials know and allow this means they are complicit in the malicious false prosecution of innocent citizens. It is disheartening to realize they are complicit as it means nothing is likely to change anytime soon. Maybe the feds will charge them all as accessories to these crimes, that would bring some much needed justice and reform.

        You are a brave to speak out on behalf of the DeLaurent family after what has been done to your family. Hearing your story makes it easier to understand that this is a pattern of malicious prosecution by a power hungry and corrupt DDA.

  3. Is there a way to review more of DDA Mickley’s cases and look for a pattern of wrongful prosecution? I know criminal cases are available, but juvie is usually protected unless it becomes an appellate case. Citizens need to be protesting his cases and demanding he is disbarred. Men in power like Mickley are dangerous and need to be booted out.

  4. It is an election year and this is yet another failure at the hands of Kate Brown. Our child welfare system is a nightmare where children are statistically more likely to be harmed IN state care than when left with negligent drug addicted parents. Look at the data from National Center For Missing and Exploited Children: 86% of all sex trafficked children were in foster care at the time of their trafficking into the sex trade. Foster care is a pedophilia mecca where a child is 4 TIMES more likely to be raped, sodomized, or molested than if they were left at home. If DDA Mickley gave a damn about helping kids he would be cracking down on the in care abuse of children, because that is the HIGHEST concentration of abuse in Oregon.

    Kate Brown knows this. DA Underhill knows this. Your legislators know this. DHS knows this. They keep this information from people because these children bring in almost a billion dollars in revenue each year in foster care title funds. The State of Oregon is the single biggest pimp promoting and financially benefiting from child sex abuse.

    The loss of innocence and the exploitation of children for money is on the souls of every gutless and corrupt official that knows these facts and sits in quiet acquiescence. CITIZENS STAND AND DEMAND BETTER FOR OUR CHILDREN.

  5. I’d bet my life that some of the key players in these sort of case are predators. If you don’t believe me you should attend a hearing and listen to them converse in hallways, or ask the families that have quietly settled lawsuits. DHS paid out 35 million in lawsuits last year and people are outraged, BUT no one has access to the settled cases because those settlements are PRIVATE. If people had access to full DHS lawsuits they would see that these lawsuits cost the state taxpayers about 100 MILLION each YEAR.

    CASA seems especially high risk for being a state sponsored predator. Pretty much anyone can become a CASA with very minimal training, and then they are legally allowed to pick up vulnerable children and spend time ALONE with them. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, but Child Abuse Selected Aggressor seems more appropriate.

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