The Knuckleheads of the Day award
Today's winners are former North Miami City Attorney Barry Kutun, Broward County Judge Stanton Kaplan, Miami-Dade Judge John Schlesinger, plus the Miami Herald and its reporter Nicholas Spangler. They get the award for the following.
Former North Miami City Attorney Barry Kutun pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse in a deal that will bring probation and house arrest but no prison time.Kutun's defense all along was he didn't know the girl was 16 years old. According to Florida law, it doesn't matter.
Kutun, 66, was arrested last year on charges that he had sex with a 16-year-old prostitute at his Miami Beach condo, but he always maintained he thought the girl was an adult.
A Broward County judge withheld adjudication, meaning that Kutun -- who had faced jail time and sex-offender status -- is not a felon.
He was sentenced to nine months of house arrest and four years of probation but will be allowed to leave his home to work, shop and do the community service that is part of his plea agreement.
''This was a mistake, an aberration in an otherwise stellar career,'' said Kutun's attorney, Richard Sharpstein. ``He's not some street thug or a criminal.''
In May, Kutun, a former state representative and candidate for Miami Beach mayor and state governor, pleaded guilty in Miami-Dade to one count of child abuse stemming from the same incident.
Under terms of that deal, he will serve probation, undergo therapy and avoid contact with minors, except for his own grandchildren.
Kutun was fired from his $170,000-a-year city post in May 2006 after a months-long police investigation ended with charges of unlawful sex with a minor.
794.021 Ignorance or belief as to victim's age no defense.--When, in this chapter, the criminality of conduct depends upon the victim's being below a certain specified age, ignorance of the age is no defense. Neither shall misrepresentation of age by such person nor a bona fide belief that such person is over the specified age be a defense.So why is a scumbag like Kutun getting special treatment? Because he is a local bigshot? If I committed the crimes Kutun did, I wouldn't be on house arrest but in jail plus be labeled a sex offender.(Also note Kutun still has his law license too!)
Two judges, the one in Broward County above, and one in Miami-Dade, didn't throw Kutun's ass in jail where it belonged. From last May.
Under the bargain, Kutun would serve five years probation and avoid jail time. His attorney, Richard Sharpstein, said in the courthouse to CBS4s Gary Nelson that "this is in his best interest so he can get this over with" and avoid further media spectacles. It’s Sharpstein's opinion that this case should never have gone this far, since "the victim in this case even had no desire to prosecute".So Judges in Broward and Miami-Dade signed off on these ludicrous sentences. That is why I give Judge Stanton Kaplan and Judge John Schlesinger today's Knucklehead award in addition to Kutun. They are disgraces to the bench, and should both be removed from it. Obviously Kaplan and Schlesinger are either
Under the plea agreement, Kutun would not be registered as a sex offender. In addition, Kutun cannot have contact with minors except for his grandchildren. He must also attend a sex offenders treatment program and make a $1,000 donation to Kristi House, a facility for children who have suffered sexual abuse.
1- Letting Kutun off because of his standing in the community
2- Letting Kutun off because of some 'unknown deal'. Is justice in South Florida buyable
3- Both these judges are simply idiots. Maybe a combination of the above.
How do I know who these judges are? The Miami Herald and Channel 4 didn't report who handed down these sentences. I had to go here for Broward County and here for Miami-Dade to determine it was Judges Kaplan and Schlesinger.
A big thank you to Amanda at Operation Awareness for her help. Click here to see Operation Awarenss' page on Barry Kutun.
Last but not least I give the Miami Herald and Nicholas Spangler a Knucklehead award for not reporting the name of the Broward County Judge in this miscarriage of justice. Why did this major publication not name the officials responsible. Is the paper afraid to anger people in power? I guess Mcclatchly Newspapers has little interest in helping the community their newspapers are supposed to keep informed. Protecting Judges and child molesters is more important than protecting the community. How sick can people be in South Florida?
Former North Miami City Attorney Barry Kutun, Broward County Judge Stanton Kaplan, Miami-Dade Judge John Schlesinger, plus the Miami Herald and its reporter Nicholas Spangler are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.
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