Former Prosecutor Required To Register As Sex Offender

Former Franklin County District Attorney John Pilati has added another ignoble precedent to his record. Pilati has just completed a sentence for civil rights violations involving prisoners. Since these allegations include fondling men as they provided urinary drug tests, he must now register as a sex offender according to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the decision below.

The Court stated the bizarre facts as follows:

Pilati was charged with five misdemeanor counts of willfully depriving individuals of their right to be free from unreasonable searches by one acting under color of law, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. Specifically, the grand jury charged Pilati, who was employed as the District Attorney in Franklin County, Alabama at the time of the offenses, with the following conduct: (1) Pilati fondled the scrotum and penis of S.T.; (2) Pilati fondled the testicles, penis, and buttocks of J.H.; (3) Pilati forced A.M. to disrobe until he was completely naked and fondled his scrotum and buttocks; (4) Pilati stroked the testicles of A.Y.; and(5) Pilati forced D.M. to disrobe until he was completely naked and touched his genitals. Pilati pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Notably, one victim was 17 years old.

Pilati argued at sentencing and again on this appeal that, since he was found guilty of civil rights violations and not a sexual offense, registration is inappropriate. He insisted that the jury would have to make a separate finding on the sex crime to compel registration.

The Court first ruled that Pilati had failed to appeal a variety of claims after his sentencing and that these claims were now waived. Again, on the registration issue, the Court blamed the former district attorney for not preserving the issue:

When a defendant fails to object to statements in the PSI despite several opportunities to do so, a defendant is deemed to have admitted those facts. United States v. Bennett, 472 F.3d 825, 833-34 (11th Cir. 2006); see also United States v. Wade, 458 F.3d 1273, 1277 (11th Cir. 2006) (stating “[i]t is the law of this circuit that a failure to object to allegations of fact in a PSI admits those facts for sentencing purposes”); United States v. Williams, 438 F.3d 1272, 1274 (11th Cir. 2006) (stating the defendant’s “failure to contest the 37 grams [of crack cocaine] imputed in the PSI constituted an admission of that quantity”). While it is true that neither the indictment nor the jury finding specified the victim’s age, the PSI specified that A.Y., the victim in Count Four, was 17 years old when Pilati “strok[ed] A.Y.’s testicles, concentrating on the area between his penis and his testicles,” and “then held A.Y’s penis while he urinated into the cup” for drug testing. Pilati did not object to the statement in the PSI that A.Y. was 17 years old despite several opportunities to do so. Pilati did not object to this statement in his written objections to the PSI, nor did he object at sentencing when the magistrate judge referred to A.Y. as a minor. Further, he responded in the negative when asked if he had any further objections to the magistrate judge’s findings of fact after the sentence was imposed. All these facts show Pilati failed to object to this factual
allegation in the PSI despite being given multiple opportunities to do so. Thus, he is deemed to have admitted A.Y. was a minor at the time of the offense.

Here is the opinion: Pilati

Source: Birmingham News found on ABA Journal

Jonathan Turley

7 thoughts on “Former Prosecutor Required To Register As Sex Offender”

  1. ““then held A.Y’s penis while he urinated into the cup” for drug testing.”

    A big good one or a good big one?

  2. kay:

    All medical testing and exams (body cavity searches included) should be done by nurses or doctors.

    Same goes for customs and border patrol. It should NEVER be done by law enforcement (because they are usually criminals).

  3. There should be international protocols for searching alleged criminal offenders. There are protocols for handling fire works. It can’t be that hard to figure out the least demeaning way to provide the drug tests whether inside a prison or out. There are lots of workplaces that are already routinely testing workers for drugs. Why can’t they use the same procedures for prisoners? If the worker testing is too vulnerable to fraud to be used in an authorized law enforcement setting, then maybe its vulnerable to fraud in the workplace. If its not a needed search, then don’t do it.

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