Anti-Porn Activist and Accused Molester Donny Pauling To Represent Himself UPDATED

Sep 20, 2015
Anti-Porn
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Sutter County, Calif – Not long after a Sutter County court consolidated all three criminal sex cases against Christian anti-porn activist Donny Pauling, Pauling has fired his defense attorney.

This action comes less than two weeks before Pauling is scheduled to go on trial for sex crimes committed against multiple minors.

Roberto Marquez duly filed a motion in Sutter County Superior Court on Thursday requesting he be relieved as attorney of record for Pauling.

Accoring to local paper the Appeal-Democrat:

In a declaration, Marquez said he met with Pauling, accused of having unlawful sex with three minor girls, in jail earlier this week.

Pauling “informed me that he no longer desired my services and that he was discharging me from representing him in his cases in the Sutter Superior Court,” Marquez said in the court filing.

Marquez wrote, “There has been an irreparable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, making it impossible to render effective assistance to Mr. Pauling,” the declaration said.

One charge against Pauling “alleges he had an ongoing sexual relationship with a minor that began when the girl was 12- or 13-years-old when they lived together in Redding. Each of his two additional cases allege unlawful sex acts against a different minor girl.”

Pauling has decided to represent himself, and began doing so in court Friday.

He claims all the victims are lying, and has pleaded not guilty to 19 criminal charges involving unlawful sex acts with three teen girls.

The Appeal-Democrat reports further

In his first action on his own behalf, Pauling made a motion to continue the trial. Deputy District Attorney Anu Chopra objected. [Sutter County Superior Court Judge Susan E.] Green told Pauling he has to file a written motion to be heard on the matter.

He is scheduled to return to court Sept. 24 to argue motions about … trial evidence. [see UPDATE, below]

Pauling has an Associate’s Degree from DeVry University in computer science. If not for his arrest, he said, he would also have degrees in philosophy and psychology.

During the hearing, Green closed the courtroom to allow for a candid conversation with Pauling and Marquez. She had told Pauling to stop talking in public court because, she was concerned about him presenting confidential information that may harm him.

By taking over the role as his own representative, Pauling gave up his right to appeal any conviction on the basis of poor representation. Green told him he will get no special treatment, and she expects him to make appropriate objections.

If he misbehaves, he will lose his right to represent himself; If he misbehaves in jail, he could lose time in the law library, Green said.

The long fall

A former low-end recruiter of young women for soft and hardcore photography, Pauling became (in his own words) “a Christian speaker [who] shares his story and the truth about the dangers of porn to churches and universities around the country.”

LISTEN: Pauling on WNGL Archangel Radio in August 2014.

As an associate of Gail Dines and Shelley Lubben, he preached regularly about what the alleges are the detrimental impacts of pornography on girls and women, and families. All three were featured speakers at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation 2014 Summit in May of last year.

However the numerous criminal charges filed against him suggest that he may have been a serial molester all the while.

Dines and Pauling in May 2014 Photo: Screencap of YouTube video / PornHarms
Gail Dines and Donny Pauling in May 2014. Photo: Screencap of YouTube video / PornHarms

Sex with minors

Pauling was arrested Dec. 1 by the Sutter County Sheriff on three felony sex charges, including Unlawful Intercourse (Statutory Rape), after a 16-year-old female told law enforcement that Pauling had ongoing sexual contact with her for the past three years.

In an interview with journalist Meredith J. Graham, Ms. Chopra revealed that the 16-year-old was a relative who had been living with Pauling for several years.

“He was the caretaker of the child—they lived together in Shasta County, then moved to Yuba City [in 2012],” Chopra explained. During that time, she said, Pauling and the girl allegedly had a sexual relationship. She also alleged that he photographed the girl with other young girls in various poses.

According to detectives, the teen had first disclosed Pauling’s actions to both her mother and a friend Thanksgiving week. The Appeal-Democrat reports

She told detectives Pauling had told her that if she ever told officers about the relationship, she should tell him first so he could kill himself. She also said Pauling told her he wasn’t like other child molesters because he loved her.

Sutter County sheriff’s Detective Robert C. Brokenbrough, who has interviewed the teen three times since Nov. 30, testified that

Pauling first made inappropriate comments to the first victim about her lips and bottom. The comments turned into sexual acts, and Pauling first had sex with the girl in the summer of 2014. She said he used a condom until he had a vasectomy…. The girl told him that Pauling bought her lingerie — which detectives discovered in his bedroom — and photographed her in erotic and sexualized poses. She said Pauling uploaded the photos to Reddit.com. Deputy District Attorney Anu Chopra submitted 10 photos of the girl into evidence. Some of the photos included the girl posing topless, exposing her bottom, and some included other minors.

According to Brokenbrough, the teen told authorities that Donny Pauling had once video-recorded her in the shower, which she only realized after she discovered the hidden device. The detective also testified that there were additional witnesses.

He said a mother of a friend of the girl’s once saw a photo of the girl’s crotch on Pauling’s phone. And the girl’s ex-boyfriend disclosed that Pauling told him that Pauling had seen the girl’s vagina and urged the boy to date her.

Anti-Porn Activist and Accused Molester Donny Pauling To Represent Himself

Other indictments

On Dec. 17, Pauling claimed in a jailhouse interview that Sutter County Sheriff’s Captain Lewis McElfresh Jr. had urged him to have sex with another 16-year-old girl. Evidence of the second alleged victim was presented to Yuba City police by a man named Chase Hammonds. According to an officer’s declaration, Hammonds confronted McElfresh about the alleged incident, recorded the conversation and provided the recording to a Sutter County sheriff’s lieutenant.

On Dec. 18, the Appeal-Democratreported, the Sutter County District Attorney charged McElfresh with five felonies: two counts of felony child molestation, willful child cruelty, burglary and misdemeanor charges of annoying or molesting a minor and indecent exposure. McElfresh is accused of masturbating while, allegedly, watching a minor being sexually violated by Pauling. McElfresh, is being held with bail set at $5 million.

According to statements made in open court on Jan 14, additional victims were identified in the criminal investigation of Pauling.

second criminal case was filed against Pauling on Jan. 28. According to the Appeal-Democrat

Chopra filed a nine-count criminal complaint naming Pauling in [connection with McElfresh]. The charges alleged four incidents of unlawful sex with a minor…. Investigators are in the process of interviewing eight minor girls as potential victims of Pauling, according to a declaration filed by Sutter County sheriff’s Lt. James Casner. Some of those girls live in Glenn and Butte counties. Chopra said she will ask for a bail enhancement for Pauling, which, if granted, would increase his bail from $500,000 to $1 million.

The second criminal complaint against the anti-pornography activist includes eight sex crime-related counts — including several instances of sexual intercourse; oral copulation and penetration with a foreign object on a minor — as well as one charge of first-degree burglary.

A copy of the criminal complaint in the third sex crime case against Pauling was not available at press time.

On May 19, Judge Aronson heard testimony for two of the cases from law enforcement officers who conducted or examined interviews with the minor victims. After evidence was submitted to the court, Aronson ordered a trial for Pauling.

According to a published report:

Immediately after Donny Pauling had sex with a 16-year-old girl, he threatened to post nude photos of her online, kill her boyfriend and hurt her family if she told anyone, a sheriff’s detective testified Tuesday.

The girl later allegedly told Lewis McElfresh, then-Sutter County sheriff’s captain, she wanted to have sex with Pauling. McElfresh then watched the two have sex as he masturbated, an officer testified.

Testimony detailed the way Pauling approached the girls, who were friends with his minor relative, with whom he is also accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship.

During separate interviews, the girls told officers of Pauling’s actions, which included nude massages. One girl said she attended class at Yuba College with Pauling, he drove her home, and while they were studying together, he gave her root beer that made her feel weak and dizzy.

She alleged he took off her clothes and had sex with her, told her he took nude photos of her and threatened her.

She reported he had sex with her three more times.

McElfresh has pleaded not guilty to felony charges for his alleged role in one of the incidents.

McElfresh, like Pauling, is calling into question the credibility of a witness against him. McElfresh’s $5 million bail was based in part on the affidavit of Yuba City police Sgt. Brain Baker. According to the Appeal-Democrat, McElfresh’s attorney, Jesse Santana states in a Notice of Motion that he believes Baker has a history of fabricating probable cause.

Pauling is due back in court for a pretrial conference on October 15.

 

Pauling calender In Pro Per

The four Motions “In Limine” indicate that Pauling is trying to have evidence and or testimony excluded that he obviously feels would be unfairly prejudicial if heard at trial.

UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 24

The Appeal-Democrat reports:

Donny Pauling won his first motion representing himself Thursday when a Sutter County judge agreed to postpone his trial to give him more time to prepare.

Judge Susan E. Green pushed back the Sept. 29 trial date to Dec. 1.

The possibility of a plea deal was also discussed and Pauling rejected a seven-year prison deal. He would be required to serve at least half of the time, Deputy District Attorney Anu Chopra said.

However, the two sides indicated that they plan to continue plea negotiations.

Donny Pauling prepares to represent himself at the Sutter County Courthouse on Thursday, September 24, 2015 in Yuba City. Chris Kaufman/Appeal-Democrat

Donny Pauling prepares to represent himself at the Sutter County Courthouse on Thursday, September 24, 2015 in Yuba City.
Chris Kaufman/Appeal-Democrat

Pauling also filed a list of witnesses he intends to call: many were religious leaders who would speak about his character and his behavior around teenage girls. He also named witnesses he said would testify they heard an alleged victim threaten to accuse Pauling of the current charges.

He plans to call a psychologist, who would testify Pauling spoke with him in 2011 about an erectile dysfunction that would prevent Pauling from performing some of the acts he is accused of engaging in with underage girls, he said. Pauling is charged with statutory rape.

As far as TRPWL can ascertain, Viagra and Cialis are not illegal in Sutter County.

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