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Judge Orders Victim in Johnson Child Sex Assault Case to Turn Over Records

In a 40-page opinion, Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz denied a defense request that the victim not be allowed to testify if she doesn't turn over her records.

The alleged victim in the Curtis Johnson sexual assault case can testify without releasing her medical and mental health records, Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiokiewicz ruled Tuesday. 

Gasiokiewicz denied motions by both sides in the case, which involves the billionaire heir to the SC Johnson fortune. Johnson lives in Caledonia. But the crux of the ruling is that the victim will be able to testify in the case. The defense had hoped to prevent her testimony because she refused to release medical records showing she could not accurately recall events in the case. 

In his opinion filed with the court on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Gasiokiewicz ordered the victim to turn over her medical and mental health records for an in camera review. An in camera review means the judge reads through the records in chambers and makes a determination if anything can or should be given to the parties in the case.

Gasiokiewicz denied a motion from the state to issue a subpoena duces tecum, which would have compelled the victim to turn over her records. He also denied a motion from the defense to bar the victim from testifying because she maintains her refusal.

His reason for denying the state's request is based on the victim's right to privilege, and he said that same right is not reason to bar her from testifying should the case go to trial.

"Barring victim testimony is an inappropriate sanction for the assertion of (her) statutory communication privilege," he wrote.

Further, Gasiokiewicz noted the defense's contradictory stance regarding the victim's ability to accurately recollect the events in question. In the body of the opinion, he states that the defense cannot on the one hand say the victim's medical or mental health condition impairs her memory and on the other hand recognize that the victim has full comprehension of the process.

While the judge did order the victim to comply, he also gave her a couple of outs: she can confirm she will comply and then produce the records in 20 days with an agreement for the in camera review; or reconfirm her assertion of statutory communication privilege.

If she chooses to uphold her privilege, the judge will still allow her to testify and uphold her privilege. But that also means the jury will receive instructions that what the victim withholds by denying the review of her records could be helpful to the defense. Not turning over her records will also limit the defense's potential cross-examination of the victim as it pertains to her privilege.

Johnson was with first degee sexual assault of the same child. Since then, he pled guilty and was released on $500,000 bail with the conditions that he remain in the state and surrender his passport. On , allowing him to go to Arizona for therapy, to travel for business and .

the records be turned over to him so he could review them and decide what could possibly be released to both sides of the case. On Nov. 10, he said he would render an opinion "in a couple of weeks" on how to move forward.

Heather Rayne Geyer November 30, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Wow. This is super confusing. Does the victim want to turn over her records? And if not, it is likely because she is being pressured not to?? I guess I cannot speak further...but this whole thing stinks IMO.
Sowhat November 30, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Since she's a minor it's apparent she is being pressured not to turn over her records. I wonder how much money is involved?
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) November 30, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Actually, the opinion and other papers associated with this case make it pretty clear that the victim is on her own with this stance, but is supported by both her attorney and family. However, there is also a note that the judge gave her the four-point order/choice because he wasn't convinced the victim was fully apprised of the court's rulings about the records.
Heather Rayne Geyer November 30, 2011 at 09:27 PM
How do we know that the atty is really acting in HER best interest? That is my worry.
Heather Rayne Geyer November 30, 2011 at 09:28 PM
She HAS to be depending on her lawyer to guide her through this because it is much too complex for a child to comprehend on her own. At least I would think...
Sowhat November 30, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Is her attorney working with his attorney?
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) December 01, 2011 at 03:51 AM
@Caledonianative - your comment was deleted because you had information that potentially identifies the victim and we don't do that.
James R Hoffa December 01, 2011 at 06:23 AM
From the article, it sounds like the victim does NOT want to release her records to anyone - both the state and the defense. I'm not sure who exactly would be pressuring her, as this is a criminal case and the only reason the victim would even have an attorney of her own involved (GAL) in the process is if the victim was planning on filing a civil suit over the alleged incidents in the near future and didn't want to screw up the chances for that case’s potential success by making damning evidence a part of the public record in this case. Possible gold digger alert here. If the records go to the credibility of the victim (ie - if there is a medical finding that she is a habitual liar, paranoid schizophrenic that tends to distort or exaggerate reality, etc.), then they should be privy to both sides during the discovery process. To withhold them on the assertion of privilege grounds alone does indeed stink and paints the victim in a totally different light.
James R Hoffa December 01, 2011 at 06:25 AM
@Sowhat - No money involved in this case, as it is a criminal case. See my comments above for further legal analysis of the situation.
James R Hoffa December 01, 2011 at 06:39 AM
@HRG - An attorney for a minor is usually entered as a GAL (Guardian Ad Litem) and are there to assure that the minor’s best interests are being represented by the dueling third party litigants – such as in a divorce proceeding, etc. However, as this is a criminal and not a civil case, it's a bit confusing as to why the victim (at her present age) would have or even need a GAL involved in the process unless there was some sort of ulterior motivation present (see my above comment). Usually a GAL only intervenes in a third party criminal action to assure that a minor child's rights as a victim/witness aren't abused by either the state or the defense, but with a child her age (in the mid-teens) most of these cases would proceed without the involvement of a GAL and are merely processed through the victim/witness division of the D/A’s office. Definitely a strange situation and one must wonder what the victim is trying to protect and why she is trying to protect it. I have no doubt that her GAL is fully representing her best interests ($) by refusing to release the records. Definitely not in the best interest of the state/prosecution and could be the tipping point that sends this one to a plea deal of some kind.
James R Hoffa December 01, 2011 at 06:47 AM
@HRG - The victim's attorney has her best future interests in mind - as in big money from the civil case that's sure to come in the future unless it is privately settled before even being filed. There’s little question about that from the actions relayed in the article. What other motivation could there possibly be where an adamant victim (who wants to testify) would risk losing the prosecution by failing to release the records? And what’s so damaging in the records that need to be hidden from in camera review by the parties and closed proceeding juror scrutiny (the records would remain under seal, as would any closed testimony regarding their content, and would never be made a part of the pubic record). Come on, you have to see the writing on the wall!
Sowhat December 01, 2011 at 02:19 PM
All I can say is C. Johnson needs to be convicted and labeled as a sex offender!
Caledonianative December 02, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Label him as a pervert too!
Sowhat December 02, 2011 at 04:52 PM
I'll bet you Hoffa she does not have a GAL appointed. That would be on her best interest.
James R Hoffa December 02, 2011 at 05:13 PM
@Sowhat - How much do you want to bet? From the CCAP 'Court Record Events' found at: http://wcca.wicourts.gov/courtRecordEvents.xsl;jsessionid=7BF7632B473FB2FEF89863914E13B033.render6?caseNo=2011CF000376&countyNo=51&cacheId=B8D3B05DA6830F90C7102441A88FD1DE&recordCount=32&offset=1&linkOnlyToForm=false&sortDirection=ASC “36 10-21-2011 Status conference Gasiorkiewicz, Eugene A. Schaefer, Patricia Event Party Johnson, Samuel Curtis, III Additional Text: Defendant Samuel Curtis Johnson in court with attorneys Mark D Richards and Michael F Hart. Attorney Kathleen M Quinn appears on behalf of the alleged victim. Robert S Repischak appeared for the State of Wisconsin. Court Reporter: Pat Schaefer. Transcript filed 10/24/11. State has been unable to contact victim's father. Victim declines to sign release for in-camera inspection of medical records. BTC: parties to brief the Court re authority to compel production of records and appointment of GAL.” You may want to look closely at the last three words of the above entry. Hoffa wins the bet – now pay me my money!
Sowhat December 02, 2011 at 08:29 PM
I don't see where the court granted appointment of a GAL.
Shari M. Evans December 03, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Just like being the home-schooling teacher, now we're a GAL. LOL
Shari M. Evans December 03, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Yeah, and what minor has that much control on her own? Reporters obviously lives in la-la-land of reporting and doesn't wish to do any real work on investigating known, circle of friends facts. Typical today's journalism.
Heather Rayne Geyer December 03, 2011 at 03:46 PM
The reporter on this story knows all of the facts that any other reporter knows. She has made the responsible decision not to plaster the identity of the victim all over the site as other sites/mediums have. She is using compassion and integrity - you still have all of the facts. I don't get why you feel the need to attack the writer.
Shari M. Evans December 03, 2011 at 08:07 PM
Who attacked the writer, H-R-G? The only mistake I made in that post was putting an "s" after lives. So I'll correct that..."Reporters obviously live..." And you definitely have this right, "The reporter on this story knows all of the facts that any other reporter knows"...and the point is, why publish anything at all, when we could all just go to ONE source and take that information? BECAUSE, people have brains and wish to explore many views, but are limited by the lame "facts" that are published by reporters in today's news because they too have agendas. And nothing at all in the papers does not sell newspapers. Follow the trail of money with all stories and you get a clearer picture than the news out there today. The excuse of protection? LOL If they were worried about this child's protection than everyone would be acting on correcting the matter...error would be thrown in the minor's direction, not in the adult's. This will end up being swept under the table...until the PSU/Syracuse type widening of investigation comes out in finding other victims. Historically/clinically, very few middle age men start now with this type of behavior. Now before you think I'm bashing the family company...no one said that they were bad, but this son is and serving time works much better than treatment.
Heather Rayne Geyer December 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM
I agree and probably feel the exact same way. I have NO tolerance for this disgusting sexually deviant behavior. I think the victim is being used AGAIN. I have many thoughts on the issue and HAVE seen much censorship on other local outlets protecting the abuser not the victim. HOWEVER, I know the people who run this Patch and write for them myself. And I assure you that this decision was made for no other reason than professional and personal integrity and compassion. Trust me, I am just as angry about this case and wish I could say A LOT more!!
Shari M. Evans December 04, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Ok, Heather, let's agree to agree on the sicko...and the victim being manipulated. The rest we'll leave to others to source out the true detailed info on their own. Though I have some suggestions where they could look. LOL
Shari M. Evans December 04, 2011 at 11:50 PM
It's always about money. And now regret that it got beyond family matters. Now it's both lawyers (even though different sides) being paid by the same family. Love to be a lawyer in this easy money making percentage.

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