Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rape - yet another PLEA DEAL

DA's Office reaches plea deal in van rape case
A Dunsmuir man charged with raping a woman while she was unconscious in the back of his van pleaded guilty Wednesday in a plea deal and was sentenced to three years in prison with five years of parole after his release.

Benjamin Roland Baszler, 25, {note - a registered sex offender, has previously been charged with lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, according to the Megan's Law website.} was arrested Dec. 4 after Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputies found him in his blue Chevrolet Astro van parked along Highway 299 with an unconscious woman in the back. He was charged with having intercourse with a person who is unconscious or incapable of resisting and having intercourse with a person who is prevented from resisting because of an intoxicating substance or controlled substance.

Baszler originally pleaded not guilty earlier this week to the two rape charges and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday. Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel said the Arcata Police Department was able to locate a key witness Tuesday afternoon, which led to the plea deal.

Neel said the witness' statements supported Baszler's account of the evening and the case became a question of whether Baszler should have known that the victim was too intoxicated to consent.
We're right back to business as usual with this DA. The voters in Arcata and SoHum can be so proud.

Dunsmuir man's hearing on rape charges delayed
Due to the volume of cases in Judge Harold Neville's courtroom Tuesday, the case was moved back one day.
Dunsmuir man accused of rape pleads not guilty

DA's Office reaches plea deal in van rape case
This conviction will be Baszler's second under the “three strikes” law. If he commits another offense, he could serve 25 years to life in state prison.

He was convicted in 2005 of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 in Nevada County, Calif. He also has a felony marijuana possession conviction and a conviction for failure to appear in court.

Court denies bail for Blue Lake rape suspect
”There was other evidence in the van that indicated that there had been other sexual activity,” Godsey said. “Whether or not there were other victims we don't know. There was just enough evidence to raise some concern that there could be other victims.”

Dunsmuir man arrested, charged with rape
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department is looking for information after a Dunsmuir man was arrested and charged with rape of an unconscious victim on Saturday, the Times-Standard has learned.

Deputies arrested Benjamin Roland Baszler shortly after 11 p.m., after conducting a vehicle investigation on a blue Chevrolet Astro Van parked along Highway 299, according to a press release. Baszler, a registered sex offender, has previously been charged with lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, according to the Megan's Law website.

Humboldt County Sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Godsey said Baszler told officers he had just finished having sex with a woman in the back of the van, who he said was sleeping when officers initially questioned him.

Through the van windows, officers saw a woman lying motionless, and she did not respond when the officers tapped on the windows, according to the release. Officers then asked Baszler to open the sliding door, and he agreed.

Officers then attempted to wake the woman, who remained unconscious. Officers continued to try to wake the woman, who eventually was able to open her eyes but was disoriented, and said that she did not know Baszler or how she got into the van....

California Registered Sex Offender


  1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    "Plea bargaining in the United States is very common; the vast majority (roughly 90%) of criminal cases in the United States are settled by plea bargain rather than by a jury trial."

  2. Uh huh.

    Let's just watch and see.

    In less than two months I expect all of Humboldt County, including Arcata and Southern Humboldt, to have buyers remorse.

    You cannot, and Gallegos cannot, continue to hide the decay. The siding was peeled off the house, and the termites within exposed. Now it is just a matter of seeing how much, if any, of the foundations, studs and rafters remain.

    It's just a matter of time now.

  3. Give it up Rose

    You lost

  4. You have a skewed perspective if you think I lost. The people lost. And winning an ELECTION is NOT becoming a better or even a good DA. Sorry, bud.

    You just got an accused rapist with prior offenses bad enough to get him on Megan's list, with a police officer for a witness - a woman who was drugged out of commission - and a three year deal.

    Whoopee for you. At this point the lack of qualified senior prosecutors is becoming a serious issue unless you just flat our don't give a shit about quality prosecutors, and do think that is the case with you anon.

  5. Ben McLaughlin12/23/2010 8:32 PM

    Rose, I suggest you assume Kelly's Bar Card and do a better job than she.

  6. You know what, Ben? It's Christmas, and so I am going to apply Bambi's rule.

  7. Sweet,the Fck you's are only meant for me!!
    Anyhow,too light of a penalty dished out here in this one instance,it's a more severe crime imho than when the cop blew the fingers off the little girl and he'll be treated a bit more harshly I think.
    Have a good one Rose.You,and me,we'll be alright.

  8. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mark, for real this time. No channeling Tad. You're alright, despite our vehement disagreements.

    The cop didn't blow the fingers off the little girl, that's a mischaracterization of an accident that didn't need to happen, and yes, I agree, he'll get Gallegos' special treatment simply because he is a cop. Whereas the accused rapist gets the other form of Gallegos special treatment, the wringing of hands and the "Oh, it's so difficult!" protestations. And down the road there will be another victim. And next week there'll be another outrageous plea deal, and Kelly Neel will continue trying valiantly to hold things together in an office that collapses around her like any scene out of 2012 the Movie.

  9. Ben McLaughlin12/28/2010 9:27 PM

    Rose, hope you had a happy holiday. I don't know what the Bambi rule is, but I assume it's a slight. That's OK. I'm used to it! Best to you and yours.

    I am defensive of Kelly because I know how hard she works. That's all. I respect, as always, your opinion. Sometimes we agree; other times not. Knowing what I do about this case, it was a good disposition.

  10. Bambi's rule - "if you can't say something nice... don't say anything at all."

    My best to you as well. Sincerely.

    I know she is working hard. More than you can imagine, I sympathize. It's an untenable situation, I'm sorry to say. But, you chose it and it is yours.

  11. Ben McLaughlin12/29/2010 12:01 AM

    I chose Kelly and she is mine. Best mother, ever.

    I also think that she is one of the smarter, most considerate prosecutors around. Now that the defense bar thinks that every 288, etc is a life case, the matters are always continued. It's not a product of Kelly. If you ever met her, I think you'd like her quite a bit.

    Seriously, if you just come and talked with her about cases, she would show you things and field questions. It's much better than the whole "it happens in a vacuum" thing.

    Anyhow, I know that we agreed to disagree about things.

    I applaud this site and the fact you make public dispositions.

    Please, post all mine... I will always defend myself and my dispositions.



  12. I don't know if you are deliberately misinterpreting what I said or not. When I was referring to an untenable situation of your choosing, I was referring to the DA, not your wife.

    And honestly, sir, you - and she - are NOT supposed to be talking about your dispositions in this manner. It is a mark of the failure of your boss that you do so, not only that you feel compelled to do so, but that you are either allowed or forced to do so. It is not wise.

    It is GALLEGOS who should defend any dispositions. They are HIS responsibility. It is HE who is supposed to be doing his job, which includes speaking to the press so that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO.

    Again, I have a very good idea of the pressures you are under. I know she is trying very hard to hold the place together. It's not a secret. Don't put yourself in a position where you are to be blamed for something that is not your fault. You seem like a nice guy. It saddens me to see what is happening.

  13. Ben McLaughlin12/29/2010 1:49 AM

    No, Rose, I'm not misinterpreting anything.

    I will say this, in the 3.5 years I've been here, I've tried more cases and sent more people to prison for more time than anyone else. I'm proud of that.

    In re Kelly, she and I are not married. I'm just trying to convey how hard she works. We live in sin, though I'm going to try to remedy that.

    Regarding the case you posted, the APD, Keat, and PVG signed off on the dispo. There are many other thought processes that went into the decision; that's all I'm saying...

    Have a happy New Year.

    I'm out.


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