Friday, October 06, 2006

McGill in Hot Water

Gene McGill, representative for the 151st state house district, is in hot water, and that isn't a reference to the plumbing in the township-owned house he's been staying in for free.

In 2003 McGill wrote a letter asking for leniency for a constituent. Who was being sentenced for having a sexual relationship with girl, starting when she was 14. And whose father had contributed around $1,500 McGill's campaigns over a period of years. The man was declared a violent sexual predator. McGill's letter to the judge asked the court to take the man's community involvement into account when sentencing him. According to the Inky,

[He], then 35, began courting the girl when she was 13 through an Internet chat site, according to court records and testimony. For more than two years, starting when she was 14, [he] had sex with the girl in a park near her home, at his recording-studio business, and at his home when his wife and children weren't there. He also took sexually explicit photos of the girl, had her look at pictures of other children engaged in sex, and had her beat him and mock him for sexual pleasure.

While McGill says this is the only letter he wrote for someone charged with a sex crime, he does have this to say about the people of the 151st:

McGill said that he was very careful with such letters, and that he took great strides not to weigh in on the crime but to merely tell the court what he knew about the person.

"I take their personal situations and their tremendous problems sincerely," he said. "Sometimes you almost fall out of the chair when you hear them... . I'd like to tell you that all the people in the 151st District are saints, but the fact is that they are not."

I'm going to have to add "don't denigrate the voters in the media" to my personal list of no-nos for elected officials, right after "don't ask for leniency for sex offenders."

Read the entire article in today's Inquirer (Cattabiani, Mario, "Official vouched for sex offender -- State Rep. Eugene McGill defended his court letter," Oct 6, 2006)

Read an interview with McGill's Democratic opponent, Rick Taylor, here.


LVDem said...

I would add McGill to my list of "done" in the SE. What a doozy of a revelation?

AboveAvgJane said...

Not only that, but his cavalier reaction to it being made public. I like Taylor and think he would be a great representative for the 151st.

Joyful Alternative said...

My letter to the editor:

I don't understand Al Bowman's difficulty with the U.S. Constitution and Pennsylvania state law. According to this article, Bryan Lentz, in his role as a defense counsel, went to court with a student from another culture who was accused of taking a picture of a naked child. Is the Republican spokesman unaware that in the United States defendants are entitled to have someone educated in the laws of this country present their side of the story to a judge and jury? The young Asian accused may need someone to help him explain that in his native country, pictures of human bodies in a natural state are not considered "dirty." He may want to state that he's studying physical anthropology and noticed skeletal differences between American and Asian children. He may want to present to the court any number of facts or excuses or even say he never did this before and will never do it again, as he begs for mercy. Does Mr. Bowman follow the lead of the White House in casting aside the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, established legal procedure, and the Magna Carta and figure that anyone accused of taking a bad picture should be thrown in the dungeon and left there to rot until the king says otherwise? Is he saying that as a lawyer Mr. Lentz should represent in court only "nice people," like land developers and stock swindlers and Jack Abramoff, and the rest may hang?

Anyway, taking a picture of a naked 7-year-old, even with the worst thoughts in mind than we might imagine, is not nearly as appalling as sending lewd instant messages to teenage boys, which, in turn, is in a totally different category above years of sexual congress with a teenager. I wouldn't reproach State Representative Eugene McGill if he'd worked as defense counsel for Sheldon Granor--even guys who repeatedly rape children deserve their day in court--but I do reproach him for writing that he's a swell guy and a pillar of the community, so forget about his trolling for 13-year-olds and give him a break.

I really do not understand Republican "moral values."