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Monday, July 13, 2009

[WA] Jailed nearly 20 years - Ex-Officer Spencer's now-grown children say the abuse never happened

...After the hearing, [former Vancouver police Officer Clyde Ray] Spencer, who has received his doctorate in clinical psychology but cannot get his state license as long as he has a criminal record, said he will just have to wait and see. But at least he has his children, who didn't talk to him for more than 20 years. "They were my life, and they were taken away from me. That was the hardest part. I could serve in prison," Spencer said, before his voice trailed off, and his son came up for another hug...

CHILDREN: FATHER DIDN'T ABUSE US: EX-VANCOUVER POLICE OFFICER SPENT NEARLY 20 YEARS IN PRISON
The Columbian
By Stephanie Rice
July 11, 2009
[Excerpts] The two adult children of former Vancouver police Officer Clyde Ray Spencer, who spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of molesting them, testified in court Friday that the abuse never happened. A 33-year-old son recalled how, at age 9, he was repeatedly questioned, alone, by now-retired Detective Sharon Krause, of the Clark County Sheriff's Office. He said that after months of questioning, he said he had been abused just to get Krause to leave him alone. A 30-year-old daughter said she doesn't remember what she told Krause at age 5, but recalled Krause bought her ice cream. The brother and sister, who live in Sacramento, Calif., said that while growing up in California they were told by their mother, who divorced Spencer before he was charged, that they were blocking out the memory of the abuse. They said they realized as adults the abuse had never happened. The fallout from Friday's hearing won't be known for months, after appellate judges weigh in. But the hearing does pave the way for the state Court of Appeals to allow Spencer to withdraw the no-contest pleas he entered in 1985 and have his convictions vacated... In 1985, Spencer was also convicted of abusing a 4-year-old stepson, who was not at Friday's hearing... The Court of Appeals ruled his testimony was not necessary, given his age at the time of the alleged crimes and the fact that his mother had had an affair with Krause's supervisor... In 1985, Spencer entered the no-contest pleas, a type of guilty plea, after learning his court-appointed attorney had not prepared a defense. He felt pleading no contest was his only option, and that he would appeal his convictions. Former Judge Thomas Lodge sentenced Spencer to two life terms in prison plus 14 years. For several years, Spencer's appeals failed. He was denied parole five times because he refused to admit guilt and enter a sex-offender treatment program... If the Court of Appeals vacates Spencer's convictions, the case would return to the Clark County Prosecutor's Office. Charges would either be refiled or dismissed... Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Dennis Hunter wasn't ready to wave a white flag on Friday. He said if convictions are tossed, prosecutors could appeal to the state Supreme Court. After the hearing, Spencer, who has received his doctorate in clinical psychology but cannot get his state license as long as he has a criminal record, said he will just have to wait and see. But at least he has his children, who didn't talk to him for more than 20 years. "They were my life, and they were taken away from me. That was the hardest part. I could serve in prison," Spencer said, before his voice trailed off, and his son came up for another hug. [Full article here]

EXCERPTS FROM OLDER ARTICLES:

FORMER POLICEMAN MAY GET NEW TRIAL
The Columbian
BRUCE WESTFALL
Tuesday, September 10, 1996
A federal judge will rule soon on a dispute that could mean a new trial for a former Vancouver policeman who claims he was wrongly accused of child sexual abuse. U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan is expected to decide in the next week or two whether a certain medical report is a key to the case. Clyde Ray Spencer , 48, pleaded guilty in 1985 to 11 counts of child sexual abuse involving three small children. Spencer claimed he had no memory of the crimes but acknowledged that a jury probably would convict him... Meanwhile, Spencer is serving a lengthy prison term at the McNeil Island Corrections Center near Steilacoom, Wash.

LOCKE PARDONS MOSTLY PRAISED - QUESTIONS OFTEN RAISED ABOUT CONVICTIONS IN TWO CASES
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
HECTOR CASTRO AND TRACY JOHNSON P-I reporters
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Shortly before his term is to end, Gov. Gary Locke has granted freedom to two life-term inmates who have already served nearly 20 years on their sentences. Both Susan Cummings, 37, convicted in the 1983 slaying of an elderly Walla Walla woman, and Clyde Ray Spencer , 56, a former police officer serving two life terms and a 14-year sentence for multiple convictions of first-degree statutory rape, are to be released... Locke's order notes problems with the case against Spencer , including lack of medical evidence of abuse of the victims, inconsistent statements from the victims and the fact that the supervisor of the detectives investigating the case had an affair with Spencer 's wife...

FORMER COP'S LIFE SENTENCE IS COMMUTED
The Columbian
Friday, December 31, 2004
STEPHANIE RICE, Columbian staff writer
A former Vancouver Police Department officer who has spent 19 years in prison for sexually assaulting three children has had his life sentence commuted by Gov. Gary Locke. Clyde Ray Spencer , 56, will be freed but must report to a corrections officer for three years and participate in sex offender treatment, if ordered. Locke signed the commutation order Dec. 23. Clark County Prosecutor Art Curtis said he was blindsided by the announcement... He said Spencer, fired from the police department in January 1985 after his arrest, has always maintained his innocence. "From the day he pled guilty, he was trying to withdraw his plea," Curtis said... On May 16, 1985, Spencer pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree statutory rape and four counts of complicity to statutory rape. The complicity charges dealt with Spencer 's making the children perform sex acts with one another as he watched. Spencer entered an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged a jury would likely find him guilty... Spencer will live with Norma Spencer, a registered nurse he married while incarcerated...

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: FAILURE OF JUSTICE HAS A HIGH COST
The Columbian
Sunday, October 9, 2005
KEN OLSEN and STEPHANIE RICE, Columbian staff writers
Ray Spencer had spent more time behind bars than anyone else convicted of child sexual abuse in Washington when he was freed just after Christmas 2004... Today, there is considerable evidence Spencer was the subject of a flawed investigation and court process... In the commutation order, Locke cited that a supervising detective and Spencer's wife had an affair; that detectives withheld medical exams that found no evidence of abuse; and that Spencer's 9-year-old son denied the molestations for eight months, changing his story only after a detective threatened him with a lie detector test. Locke also noted that a renowned child abuse prosecutor found significant problems with the investigation, including the techniques used to interview Spencer's daughter... To ensure that interviews are conducted fairly and documented accurately, Portland-based CARES Northwest one of the largest child abuse assessment agencies in the nation has videotaped victim interviews since 1987. Clark County still refuses to videotape such interviews... Prosecutors cite at least two reasons for pursuing the Spencer case. After months of questioning, two trips to a psychiatric hospital and heavy doses of antidepressants, Spencer started telling investigators he couldn't remember molesting anyone. Prosecutors say that inability to remember is proof of Spencer's guilt... Prosecutors also cite King County Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Roe's analysis of the case. A well-known child abuse expert, Roe had rejected the case because of numerous flaws. But Roe also mentioned she believed Spencer's daughter was abused and probably by Spencer...

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: RELEASE FROM PRISON DOESN'T MEAN FREEDOM, EX-COP FINDS
The Columbian, (Vancouver, WA)
Ken Olsen and Stephanie Rice
Monday, October 10, 2005
...Spencer married C-Tran bus driver Shirley Hansen in 1983. While he was away at police training in August 1984, his daughter told Shirley that her mommy, daddy and ex-girlfriend Karen Stone all molested her. (Detectives focused almost exclusively on Spencer.) The girl returned to DeAnne's home in California before Spencer got home. When he arrived, Spencer had Shirley write a detailed description of his daughter's allegations and reported them to the Clark County Sheriff's Office and child protective services in California. A Sacramento County detective had DeAnne take her daughter to the University of California Davis Medical Center. A medical exam found no evidence of sexual abuse... [Now-Retired Clark County Sheriff's Detective] Krause repeatedly questioned Spencer's 9-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. His daughter continued to implicate her father, police reports said. His son not only denied any sexual misconduct by Spencer, but told a California investigator his sister fabricated stories. That changed suddenly, eight months into the investigation, when Krause threatened the boy with a lie detector test.. [King County Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca] Roe wrote in an analysis of the case that it was "legally insufficient" and "unwinnable." The daughter's claim of multiple suspects, her inconsistencies and other factors "create questions about fact vs. fantasy"... The Vancouver Police Department fired Spencer on Jan. 5, 1985... Six months after the first accusation, Spencer told his second wife he was leaving her and moved out of the house. He made another trip to the psychiatric ward, then moved into a Salmon Creek motel. His troubles multiplied. Shirley Spencer dropped her 5-year-old son off at the motel one night. The boy accused his father of sexually abusing him at the motel, according to Detective Krause... Meanwhile, a medical examination of Shirley's son conducted soon after the alleged motel incident found no evidence of the heinous sexual crimes Spencer allegedly committed. Results of that examination, as well as the results of Spencer's daughter's examination, were never provided to prosecutors or Spencer 's defense attorney. In his Dec. 23 order commuting Spencer's life sentence, Gov. Gary Locke cited several "troubling aspects" with the investigation. He includes the withheld medical reports and an affair between Davidson and Shirley Spencer. Shirley Spencer denies getting romantically involved with Davidson until long after Ray Spencer went to prison and both she and Davidson were divorced. Shirley acknowledges, however, that her involvement with Davidson and their living together for five years casts suspicion on the investigation... Fellow inmates at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton soon learned that Spencer was an ex-cop and, at night, shook the bars of their cells and shouted, "Let's kill the cop," Spencer said. He was transferred to solitary confinement and then moved to a prison in Boise, where he told inmates he was an air traffic controller convicted of dealing drugs. Spencer contacted the triage nurse he had fallen in love with on Guam. They married in a prison chapel in September 1987. Norma started working two jobs to pay Spencer's legal bills and help him mount a new appeal... Help came decades later. Three years ago, Kathryn Penry started hunting for her half-brother, Ray Spencer , whom she'd lost touch with years earlier. When she found him in prison, Penry began lobbying for a pardon. Spencer 's attorney felt as if a pardon was too much to request. The end result was a commutation with several strings attached...
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement child sex abuse children false charges memories recant]

10 comments:

  1. Seems that the prosecutors in Clark County, Washington have nothing better to do than spend state tax dollars. Not only did they stand by and allow an innocent man to spend 20 years of his life behind bars but now after a governor commuted the sentence and the appellate court is going to vacate the conviction, they are threatening to take it on to the State Supreme Court! Enough is enough. This will not only cost thousands and thousands of tax payer dollars and for what? Mr. Spencer has served the time and has a governors commutation. You cannot send the man back to prison. Where is the justice in this county. Apparently the corruption did not end in 1985. As a tax payer I am all for a recall on these elected officials. They were incompetent then and they are incompetent now. Step up people and be heard. These tax dollars could better be spent on our schools than trying to cover the butts of the those that belong to the "Good Old Boys Club".

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  2. Seems that the prosecutors in Clark County, Washington have nothing better to do than spend state tax dollars. Not only did they stand by and allow an innocent man to spend 20 years of his life behind bars but now after a governor commuted the sentence and the appellate court is going to vacate the conviction, they are threatening to take it on to the State Supreme Court! Enough is enough. This will not only cost thousands and thousands of tax payer dollars and for what? Mr. Spencer has served the time and has a governors commutation. You cannot send the man back to prison. Where is the justice in this county. Apparently the corruption did not end in 1985. As a tax payer I am all for a recall on these elected officials. They were incompetent then and they are incompetent now. Step up people and be heard. These tax dollars could better be spent on our schools than trying to cover the butts of the those that belong to the "Good Old Boys Club".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here is a radio show link that Ray did a couple days ago: Listen to more facts from Ray Spencer himself.

    http://www.mynorthwest.com/resources/audio_headlines/audio_player.php?a=8624&f=/kiro/2009/07/p_Dori_Monson_Show_20090714_12pm.mp3

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://www.mynorthwest.com/resources/audio_headlines/audio_player.php?a=8624&f=/kiro/2009/07/p_Dori_Monson_Show_20090714_12pm.mp3

    Ray’s story!

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  5. Why would a police officer (harder to convict than citizen joe) plead "no contest" to 11 counts of child sexual abuse when he was innocent? Spencer said he didn't remember if he molested the kids or not? He pled no contest because he thought he would be found guilty? There was no provided medical evidence of crimes - that according to Spencer on the Dorie Monson Show - included full penetration.

    What about the judge? The judge didn't ask for medical evidence? What about Spencer's attorney? What did he get paid for?

    I think the media is leaping on this without asking some important questions. I feel we are hearing exclusively from one side that 2 people could bend the whole system to give a police officer two life sentences for penetrating kids without a shred of physical evidence. It doesn't make sense that two people are the only ones who'd be held to blame for that. This had to be big... and serious.

    As one caller to the radio show said, Spencer had a whole department of police officers that could have helped him establish his innocence to false charges. If they didn't, why?

    Spencer is free to write a book - but I'd love to read a book written by an objective investigative reporter that had no personal interest in this - who had access to the court records and investigations, and to the events since - in the efforts to clear Spencer's name.

    Maybe it's just too deep and won't make sense to me in the abbreviated format of newspaper articles.

    WHATEVER happened - false charges or true - the end of this is a horror, either way.

    What worse thing can a person be falsely / erroneously accused of?

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  6. I really would like to know more. I want to understand.

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  7. Wednesday, July 8 | 2:07 p.m.

    BY KEN OLSEN AND STEPHANIE RICE
    COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITERS

    Well I just did some searching on a couple of questions you threw out there and here are a couple of answers to your questions and a link to follow.

    "Spencer maintained his innocence both under hypnosis and sodium Amytal ("truth serum") facts that were never mentioned in court. "I have never observed an individual who can withhold information under the conditions of Amytal and hypnosis," wrote Dr. Lawrence Halpern in a 1986 letter filed with Spencer's first appeal.

    Spencer was taking heavy doses of antidepressants when he entered his no-contest plea. The drugs and depression made it impossible for Spencer to intelligently participate in his own defense, said Halpern, a University of Washington neuropharmacologist who analyzed Spencer's medical records a year after he was sentenced."

    http://columbian.com/article/20090708/SPECIAL/907089988

    Also here are some other facts that are also noted at that link:

    Did you know?

    * In eight years in office, Gov. Gary Locke either commuted sentences or issued pardons for 68 people.

    * The Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board unanimously recommended to Locke that Ray Spencer's sentence be commuted. The board consisted of a retired King County judge, a retired King County police officer, a Yakima County police chief, a federal public defender and a Seattle attorney.

    * Spencer was the only person convicted of a sex offense to be released by Locke.

    Irregularities in Ray Spencer Case

    Gov. Gary Locke's commutation order and court records refer to several flaws in the case against Ray Spencer, including:

    * Spencer's estranged wife had an affair with a supervising detective.

    * Detectives withheld medical evidence supporting Spencer's contention that he was innocent.

    * A King County deputy prosecutor known for her expertise in child sex abuse recommended dropping the case after the first victim came forward, citing significant problems with the evidence, including "questions about fact vs. fantasy."

    * Spencer's court-appointed defense attorney, James Rulli, now a Clark County Superior Court judge, did not attempt to interview the alleged victims until a few weeks before trial even though the case had been initiated eight months earlier. He also didn't interview Spencer's wife, arrange for any defense witnesses, challenge any of the prosecution's evidence or request a hearing to determine the credibility of the child witnesses.

    * Spencer maintained his innocence both under hypnosis and sodium Amytal ("truth serum") facts that were never mentioned in court. "I have never observed an individual who can withhold information under the conditions of Amytal and hypnosis," wrote Dr. Lawrence Halpern in a 1986 letter filed with Spencer's first appeal.

    * Spencer was taking heavy doses of antidepressants when he entered his no-contest plea. The drugs and depression made it impossible for Spencer to intelligently participate in his own defense, said Halpern, a University of Washington neuropharmacologist who analyzed Spencer's medical records a year after he was sentenced.

    * One alleged victim, a 9-year-old boy, denied Spencer abused him for eight months and changed his story only after a Clark County sheriff's detective threatened him with a lie detector test. Once the detective elicited allegations from the boy that he had suffered frequent, violent abuse, the boy was not examined by a doctor.

    * Spencer was handed two life terms plus 14 years with no pre-sentence investigation.

    * Results from a recent comprehensive psychological exam and a recent polygraph test support Spencer's claims he never sexually abused anyone.

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  8. This is so upsetting that I keep writing and deleting what I wrote. One site has 676 comments after the article - so I know it's not just me. :)

    676 COMMENTS
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/11/clyde-ray-spencer-impriso_n_230096.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sharon Krause and Mike Davidson need to be charged an put in prison. Let's see how these corrupt cops like being put behind bars. The only difference is that they are ACTUALLY guilty. I hate how corrupt cops (and prosecutors) are never prosecuted for their corruption that results in innocent people going to prison.

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  10. This whole story sucks. From the first line all the way to the last. I'm crying reading this. A police officer that dedicated his life to helping people. His wife and a fellow officer straight fucked up is what it is, I feel your pain Vancouver, Clark County can really be unforgiving. Which brings me to my point. In this country it is our god given right to own property, no written code or statute can take that away. You had my car towed. Big mistake for trespasses against this free man is a measly $480,000 dollars a day. That I will collect, so I always get excited when I find out that this is within your your means. I'll be in touch, of course if my car makes it back to my house by tonight I can probably let this one go you have suffered enough. Please return my car thanks Kevin.360-449-2708 god bless!

    ReplyDelete

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