After losing a hearing on the constitutionality of the online solicitation of a minor law this week, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, through its First Assistant Phil Grant, has levied media attacks against Judge Kelly Case for political posture.
“Judge Case continues his one man war on our proactive efforts to protect the children of Montgomery County,” stated First Assistant Grant. “This statute is designed to identify and arrest individuals searching for children online to victimize. The methods and procedures used by our investigators specifically weed out those who are merely engaged in twisted sex talk, and arrests are made only when adults get in their car and drive to a location to meet the minor child. The defendants we arrest have made proactive efforts to find and molest children. Judge Case’s rulings continue to place the children of Montgomery County in danger.” Breitbart.com July 29, 2015
Phil Grant, who by no coincidence has indicated he will run against Judge Case in the next election cycle, attempts to paint Judge Case as creating a war on the protection of children.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Using the protection of children as his pawn for political gain, Phil Grant intentionally misleads the media regarding the current state of law in Texas. Rather, Judge Case is following the law of the land in which the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the highest court in Texas for criminal cases) has already held sections of this law as over-broad and unconstitutional as it infringes upon the First Amendment’s free speech provision.
Following the realization that this particular law was over-broad and unconstitutional, Senator Joan Huffman (a strong Republican, former prosecutor, and former district court judge) worked hard to introduce and pass new legislation which would presumably cure the error and solidify these types of prosecutions. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office supported this new legislation (which takes effect September 15, 2015). They supported it because they knew the law was improperly and unconstitutionally written and needed to be fixed! Now they want to complain that a judge who swore to uphold the Constitution is following the law? That’s absurd. Perhaps this media stance would be different if Mr. Grant had not chosen to run against Judge Case.
Responding to the outrageous attack, the Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association issued a statement setting forth the true facts. It can be viewed and downloaded here:
If you want more information on why the statute is unconstitutional, you should read Mark Bennett’s blog on a Roadmap to the Texas Online Solicitation Statute
HCCLA supports the Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in their response. We too are outraged that the Montgomery County District Attorney would launch such an unwarranted attack to aid its own First Assistant’s political agenda.
Updated Courier media with a response from Phil Grant does not sway our opinion or his agenda.