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.