Wayne Bent’s attorney speaks out

*Update: November 4 / 10:34am PST: Order to Vacate

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SARAH MONTOYA AUDIO INTERVIEW (runs 39:09)

(November 3) In a recorded interview lasting nearly 40-minutes, the attorney tasked with defending Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser) addressed several aspects of the State of New Mexico’s criminal case against the controversial church leader.

Among the numerous topics addressed by Montoya:

  1. Is Wayne Bent still fasting?
  2. New trial date of December 8
  3. Has Wayne Bent handed over control of the church to his son?
  4. Letters written by Healed
  5. “Sexual contact”
  6. Religious freedoms
  7. Psychological evaluations

Montoya provided Beyond90Seconds.com with three letters written by the alleged victim known as “Healed”. The first letter, dated June 25, 2008, is written to District Attorney Donald Gallegos.  The second letter and third letters are dated October 19 and October 27, respectively.  Letters number two and three are written to Deputy District Attorney Tomas Benavidez.

LETTERS WRITTEN BY “HEALED”

  1. June 25, 2008 letter written to District Attorney Donald Gallegos
  2. October 19, 2008 letter written to Deputy District Attorney Tomas Benavidez
  3. October 27, 2008 letter written to Deputy District Attorney Tomas Benavidez

(note: While Wayne Bent’s Web site, strongcity.info, is not presently available, a “mirror site” can be found at strongcity2.info.

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31 Responses to Wayne Bent’s attorney speaks out

  1. avatar
    Justice November 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Is there any word as to whether Wayne Bent is continuing his no food, no water fast?

  2. avatar
    Johnny Miller November 3, 2008 at 2:27 pm #

    I haven’t heard anything, but I would believe that Wayne is still holding on to his fast. It’s just who he is. I hope i am wrong. Does anyone remember when Judge Baca comes up for re-election again?

  3. avatar
    Beyond90Seconds November 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    Justice,

    It’s a question I asked in a telephone interview with Bent’s attorney, Sarah Montoya, early this evening.
    Ms. Montoya allowed me to record the phone call for the purpose of posting it on Beyond90Seconds.com.
    I have some things to do tonight away from the blog, but later this evening, I will post the interview here so that it can be heard. The interview runs around 40-minutes.
    Ms. Montoya also provided me with three letters written by “Healed.” Those letters will also be posted here.
    Best,
    Mark

  4. avatar
    EMC November 3, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    Man! Some days living in the Eastern Time Zone is just no fun!!! *on pins and needles*

    I look forward to reading/hearing all of the update, Mark.

    I hope Ms. Montoya is not taking the tack of trying this case in the media.

    Further, anything Healed writes should be viewed through the lens of her infatuation with a “messiah figure” — and her earlier writings make it pretty clear this was not an innocent ‘religious healing’ ceremony. It IS possible for an adolescent to be abused and deny the abusive nature of the relationship. I see that perspective in many of the young Strong City women’s writing. I hope their words can be used to impeach Wayne’s testimony in court.

    (Yeah, I wouldn’t be seated as a juror.)

  5. avatar
    raycot November 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    It IS possible for an adolescent to be abused and deny the abusive nature of the relationship.

    EMC

    3 Nov 08 at 2:55 pm

    Wayne had sex with his son’s wife, and even HE continues to defend his dad’s actions…During the documentary there was one man who was practically crying because Wayne also had sex with his wife (the two witnesses), and that guy credits Wayne, of all people, for helping him to get through it :rolleyes:

    So YES it IS possible.

  6. avatar
    raycot November 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    I remember when Wayne first comitted adultery with the two witnesses. He claimed on his website that he felt so terrible about it, but God told him to do this so he would LOOK like an adulterer and a monster to the world. This was supposedly for the purpose of making sure that Wayne and the SC folks would not be under any illusions and would be sure that all they accomplished would be by the power of God Himself, as there was so way that a scum sucking pig adulterer and molester of his flock would be able to do these things of his own power (or something like that). He got away with this and later moved on to the seven virgins.

    When it became known that Wayne was doing certain inappropriate things with minors, there were statements made again that he loved them so much that he was willing to LOOK like a pedophile to the world. Why would this even come up if these actions were simply “healing” excercises?

    As far as Ms. Montoya taking the tack of trying this case through the media, I believe that that is exactly what she is doing. It is her job to defend her client any way she can. I just hope that the “TRUTH” comes out in the trial.

    Not exactly sure of the law in NM but my understanding is that minors cannot consent. It all comes down to whether the jury believes were telling the truth in their first testimony, or in their revised testimony.

  7. avatar
    KM November 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    Johnny,
    Judge Baca (D) ran against Matthew J. Sandoval (D) in the primary and did not win. Sandoval is running unopposed in the election tomorrow. I’m not sure of the exact dates but my understanding was that after December Judge Baca would not be hearing anymore cases.

    What that means for this trial if it is not finished by the end of December is up for grabs.

  8. avatar
    ron November 4, 2008 at 12:51 am #

    Get Real! If you really believe that Wayne has no power over these people, then you have not looked into this case, and really should not representing anyone.

  9. avatar
    the whackmeister November 4, 2008 at 2:30 am #

    *blink* As a former attorney, and with all due respect to our host, I would never have given an interview to the press without the client present, absent some fairly extraordinary circumstances. It’s not a matter of trying the case in the media, it’s just that (again, with all due respect to our host) most media types tend to oversimplify the law to the point that it becomes mush. And if you say something complicated that doesn’t fit into a soundbyte, it gets butchered.

    Maybe Wayne’s attorney doesn’t think anything can be lost by consenting to an interview with an out-of-state news source. Certainly it’s not like giving an interview to KOB or the Albuquerque paper.

    As for Healed’s request to be excused from the trial: dream on, honey. You’d be better off trying to convince Wayne to cop to the charges or ask Wayne’s attorney for a motion to bar the press from the courtroom during your testimony, since you’re a minor. Don’t know what NM law is like in this matter, but judges have a lot of leeway regarding in court testimony.

  10. avatar
    ron November 4, 2008 at 2:46 am #

    Bent’s twist on religion involves sex, or what he calls consumation. Healed’s own words express the “need” to physically consumate with Wayne.
    Her refusal to cooperate with the mental evaluation should be seen as contempt by the court.
    If Strong City does not want to live by the laws of the United States, then they should go to some other country.

  11. avatar
    James November 4, 2008 at 5:31 am #

    Healed’s sheltered environment makes her easy prey for Bent. When you read what she has written, there is a mix of raging teenage hormones and self rightous religion. Teenagers always think they have all the answers. But those of us that survived our teenage years can look back and see how we were wrong sometimes.

  12. avatar
    Sam Redman November 4, 2008 at 6:02 am #

    “Curiouser and curiouser!” (quote from Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Adventures in Wonderland).

    After going to the trouble to get the venue changed (because they were afraid of contamination of the jury pool by media coverage), the defense attorney paradoxically does an interview which will probably be quoted in the state-wide newspapers. That seems to be self-contradictory. Plus, a careful read of statements from the witness seems to indicate that releasing those will subsequently be very destructive to Attorney Montoya’s own case.

    First, I think that potential jurors (or the actual jurors, if these letters appear in open court) would have similar negative reactions to the five people in my office (although that was a non-scientific sampling). As Mark Horner’s interview deftly revealed, there are some rather disturbing statements in those letters, which would tend to be probative to the prosecution’s case. You can be certain that the prosecution will be the parsing every line. Those letters won’t convince a jury of Bent’s innocence and they will probably be seen by psychologists as demonstrating convincingly that she appears to be a typical molestation victim, under the control of her authority figure.

    Secondly, there was something else that was quite revealing in the interview (kudos to Mark Horner). Montoya said that “Healed” had posted on the internet the story about her mother hitting her with a fly swatter. However, that story was not on any forums I have seen (and it doesn’t Google either, so it is possible that the posting was not made to the general public). The story was first seen (at least by me) in Jeff Bent’s last posting on the Strong city website. All that possibly indicates that “Healed” has been communicating on the Strong City “intra” net. Posting to each other has been their way of life and Jeff indicated in his last interview that this communication process was continuing in the camp. Put all that together (in consideration with the very legalistic wording in this “naive” girl’s letters) … and it seems that there may be some evidence here of witness tampering.

    The basic rule in a criminal case is for everyone who wishes to help a defendant to “remain silent.” This latest development is a very bizarre tactic.

    — Sam

  13. avatar
    KM November 4, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    It was interesting to hear Ms. Montoya’s take on the charges against WB and I’m happy to know that she was willing to listen to the concerns of family members of his followers while they were fasting. It was also good to see that she was the one who prepared the arrest and pickup order for WB and not the DA. It shows her concern for her client’s health as well as the health of his followers.

    I do have a few questions and thoughts on this matter.

    1. While there are a number of lawyers that will take pro bono cases in NM, the person requesting the assistance has to be a resident of NM. Where does Ms. Montoya suggest those people from out of state come up with the money to hire an attorney to take on such a difficult case as that of removing an adult from their own home? It would require much paperwork and several court hearings to try and prove they were not competent to care for themselves and would require some sort of legal guardianship over the family member. Aside from the amount of time it would take (which while they were fasting was a big issue) I imagine it would be extremely pricey. Even if all the family members pooled their resources I doubt they would have the resources to pay the average hourly fee for even one attorney. Thankfully, at this point at least, it seems to be a moot point since the fast is over and WB is incarcerated.

    2. I believe that when someone gives a testimony, in a safe house or to an officer, that testimony becomes the basis for the case. And that a witness can’t recant just by writing letters. Please correct me if I’m wrong. My impression is that the witness will be on the stand and the lawyers for both sides will ask questions and try to get to the bottom of things which could then include the concerns she wrote about in her letters. She might also think that if she doesn’t cooperate and testify WB will be set free but it’s not that simple. Her lack of cooperation could do the opposite and drive the nail in the coffin.

    Because of the risk of even subtle coercion from the defendant or his followers I think the state has no choice but to keep her from returning to SC until the case is settled. As well, Healed was not appointed a Guardian ad Litem because she is with her parents who the court has deemed have that legal right and feel it is in her best interest to be with them.

    While I don’t advocate hitting a child (in regard to the smack on the leg with the end of a flyswatter), you must admit that in certain situations it is easy to be provoked to the point of lashing out, sometimes physically. Having raised 5 teenagers I know there were several times that my patience was greatly tried by their attitude to the point where I physically smacked them on the leg or the rear, which I immediately felt horrible about but didn’t dwell on because I’m only human. My child in those situations would cry, not from the pain I inflicted but rather because they realized they had provoked me to anger by their actions and they didn’t dwell on the smack either. Instead, we worked together to help resolve whatever issue was causing their intolerable attitude.

    It’s very obvious Healed doesn’t want to correct her attitude because like most teenagers “she’s right” and her parents are wrong. If my 17 year old child told me that she could only be happy living with someone besides our family, especially in these kinds of circumstances where sexual abuse is thought to have taken place, my first gut response would be “fine, go on and ruin your life”! But her parents are doing their best to protect her from what they and others perceive as sexual abuse so they are taking Healed’s attitude in stride, a difficult position for them and something that I admire them for.

    3. Leaving out the religious essays written by WB and his followers as well as the fact that he and several women consider themselves married, won’t the things that Healed wrote and the video’s of other girls talking about getting naked and laying skin to skin be admissible in court? Or do you consider getting naked and laying skin to skin to be a part of their religion?

    Perhaps you think our perception is tainted by the outside world so we wouldn’t understand the context this happened in. I would suggest to you that in NO context would most of us consider that a young girl would need to get naked, one on one, skin to skin “alone” with one person to be spiritually or emotionally healed.

    I’ve been to plenty of religious camp meetings where people are healed. At the most it has included prayer, the laying on of hands on the head and many people involved. In the Native American Church, who some would not consider as Christ centered, ceremonies such as that of the Sweat Lodge follow strict etiquette in regards to nudity. Many such ceremonies are held separately for men and women and if they are held together some type of clothing is worn. Even the Medicine Elders in their practice of healing physical or mental disease don’t get naked with the person they are helping and they are assisted by others so are never completely alone with the person seeking the healing.

    I could site many other religious ceremonies from all over the world and none of them involve a young child, boy or girl, getting naked and laying next to the healer in bed. WB likens himself to a Medical Doctor and his/her treatment of women which sometimes involves physically touching their private parts during an examination or surgery. MD’s who are doing such an examination usually have a nurse or witness in the room with them. And when was the last time you went to an MD and he or she got naked while examining you?

    I’m reminded of the old TV show “Dragnet” and Sgt. Joe Friday’s famous line “Just the facts, ma’am”! Even if we leave out everything else that WB has ever written, the facts are pretty damning. As well, it’s obvious Healed is still being influenced by someone at SC and they are using her for their own purposes by publishing the first two letters on the SC website. The third is new but more of the same. Healed is starting to act and sound like WB, writing the same thing over and over and then saying she’s done with all of this and will never talk to you again but then a few weeks later writes the same things again. And now she’s fasting like “her beloved Michael”. So sad, just like a sappy soap opera.

    Oh well, I’m with EMC – I wouldn’t be called to sit on the jury either.

  14. avatar
    KM November 4, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Sam, I am in complete agreement with you on the points you made in the above post. It is very bizarre!

  15. avatar
    Crytears November 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    I’m having a problem with what this child “Healed” wrote and how its splashed world wide for anyone to read.
    It reads like a poorly written corny hot sex novel!
    You read into her writtings her needing waybent to go deeper, her lover, her husband, her god!
    It turns my stomach while same time makes me want to cry for this desperate child being so delusional and that this “man” put these suggestions into her head long before this.
    Isn’t anyone protecting this child? I sure wouldn’t allow my childs writing be shown for all to gawk, laugh and remark about!
    Having everyone read these sensitive “prayers” her heart pleadings to her “god and savior” is very private personal “between her and God”…
    and here we are reading it, gawking, laughing and mostly being repulsed by what was written.
    What a sad little child she is!
    There’s got to be something wrong with “advertising” what she’s written, so seriously, so deeply emotional and raw.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support any of this vulgar crap on either end.
    But think about it folks…what are we doing to this girl having her hearts pleading splayed open for all to read…feels perverted to me every time I read it.
    Are we making this girl naked before us everytime we read it? Sure seems that way!
    Its so sexually explicit, I think a warning for underage readers be noted!
    But are we harming this child as much as waybent harmed her as well by posting her heartfelt writings?
    This little childs life will never be the same and she will need to spend the rest of her life in therapy.
    She already proven herself a very strong willed, know-it-all horny little brat!
    And clearly disobeyed her parents best wishes!
    So much for living a sinless and perfect life!
    I hope she doesn’t end up taking her life as she threatened too many times before.
    She needs to be in house program for depression and mental illness for treatment and a hefty dose of cult-deprograming!
    Its’ mr waybent who is the criminal here, not the child!
    He was having sex with other mens wives within the cult 20+ years ago!
    So this “sex act” consumation garbage isn’t recent “stuff”.
    He’s just recently tied bible prophecy and 7 virgins crap together in order to keep his perversions going and not get the men questioning why.
    Talk about evil deception!
    Satan was having a hay day within those gates!
    But its all over now
    He’s the one who should be shamed and ridiculed!
    Instead he’s got many defending his sick perversions.
    Coo-koo birds of a feather, flock together!
    We need to round em up, send em south!

  16. avatar
    KM November 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    Crytears, you’re right, it’s really awful that this child’s letters are available for the public to read but I’m sure you will remember that at least two of these letters were first posted on the SC website by WB and his attorney shared the letters with Beyond 90 Seconds. They are probably exhibits in the court proceedings as well.

    But it didn’t just start with these three letters. Over the years, WB allowed her and others to post anything and everything on their own blogs and he posted what they wrote as well as their pictures on his own site, all of which is now cached and readily available to anyone in the world with a computer.

    Unfortunately WB and others at SC don’t care enough about her to protect her from this and she doesn’t care or maybe doesn’t understand that everything she writes is in the public eye. And since she is clearly disobeying her parents and continues to write it will continue to be published, if not here somewhere else where they won’t protect her true identity.

    I sadly agree with you that Healed and many of the others will need years of healing from this abuse suffered from WB. Let’s pray to God that they can break free and realize they need help.

    As for the real criminal, WB, he is trying desperately to kill himself so he doesn’t have to answer to the state court and he might succeed, but he’ll never be able to outrun God.

  17. avatar
    raycot November 4, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    “…and here we are reading it, gawking, laughing and mostly being repulsed by what was written.”

    Crytears
    4 Nov 08 at 4:49 pm

    Who’s laughing?

    She is going to be very angry about all this when she gets older and has a different perspective about what Wayne has done to her.

  18. avatar
    Crytears November 4, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

    KM, Right on! NO ONE can outrun God!
    He not only faces punishment here on earth,
    but his worst fate is yet to come as God will give him what he deserves.
    For that reason alone, you’d think he’d fear death much more than prison.
    When he closes his eyes and sucks his last breath, in a twinkling of an eye he will be face to face with his creator, me thinks he be havin some splainen to do!
    When I saw the Nat Geo Program half year ago, I read all what those girls wrote, laying naked, consumation stuff…the girls were exlaining what a holy experiences in their personal blogs.
    He was arrested shortly after the girls posted this.
    I was shocked, dismayed he was released so quickly, then the story they twisted it into embarrased me, what a slap on Gods face claiming was like Christ 3 days in tomb.
    Mr WayBent’s near laughable joke of a false prophet.
    Just wait till one comes along who really does in fact do marvelous miracles, even the very elect will/can be decieved.
    Time is short. May Lord have mercy on us all!

  19. avatar
    CryTears November 6, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    I just read “Healds” 5 pages of ramblings.
    I’d love to see what a hand writting expert/psycho analyser has to say about her letter,
    would be interesting for sure!
    See all the tight closed loops in most of the words.

    What a poor little sick deluded girl.
    She is so in love with that “man”, she worships and adores him to her death! waybent is the one who is harming her.
    Something is wrong with this little girls thinking! Her letter clearly spells this out.
    I fear she will take her own life when waybent gets convicted.
    She will feel she is responsible for this.
    WayBent MUST make it clear she is NOT responsible for his crimes…that HE is the one who caused this, not her! But somehow I doubt he’s “man” enough to even keep this girl from killing herself.
    If she does, this will only further his cause and validate his claims. What a sick set up!

    I think her letter is very damaging to her “case” and only proves that mr waybent has manipulated and brainwashed her.
    I remember when I was her age (16) and my father (Bob) had once again abused and beat me, leaving goose egg sized hematomas on my backside and legs.
    He’d beaten me with buckle end of the belt and kicked me while I was on the ground.
    He claimed I was mouthing off disrespectfully towards him. I knew better than cross this man, but he always managed to take out his rage on me.
    My mom always defended what he did to me, she always tried to say that I caused him to get angry, that I deserved what I got.
    This was how she excused his actions, brainwashing me into beleiving was MY fault for entire familys failures. This has never changed as I’m still blamed.
    After this beating I got to my job (I worked 20 hrs week to pay my school bills) my nurse supervisor saw my injuries, couldn’t beleive my condition and called the police.
    I actually thought I was in trouble. She showed other nurses, they all gasped.
    Even though they were shocked by what they say, I still felt I was the one who had caused Bob to get too angry even though I hadn’t said anything other than explain why I’d made noise in the hallway cupboard as I got shoe polish out.
    My folks were trying to take a Sabbath day nap!

    My father was “charged”…(simply questioned and released) but I was taken to foster care.
    During a private meeting at CPS, my mom “counceled”, begged me to drop the charges, for me to admit I was out of control and deserved this beating.
    If I didn’t it would cause my entire family to suffer and that people in foster care would do much worse.
    My mom begged and pleaded with me, then told me my little sisters would be taken away as well.
    These children meant the world to me as I’d been the one to raise them while my mom earned a living, Bob always gambled away her paychecks.
    I was afraid of foster care as my nurse mother would always threaten, scare me with going there.
    So of course I said the magic words and CPS let me go home with my folks.
    That was in Loma Linda Calif, 1968.
    Had I been a man, Bob would have been charged with assult and battery. And if was done today, he’d have gotten years in prison, no matter what I claimed.
    An adult should never harm a child, no matter how angry or horny they are! is just wrong!
    I see Heald doing the same thing I did in defending the abuser because it will be all her fault if waybent gets convicted…and then SC will fall apart.
    Will be all her fault then…least thats how mr waybent will mold this into!
    He will NEVER take responsiblitly, NEVER…just as Bob never took responsibiltity in abusing me.
    He never ever once said he was sorry…NEVER!
    He’s still blaiming me to this day.
    Years of counceling has done little to undo the damages done to me…and I see Heald going down same road.
    You just can’t “un-do” this type abuse!
    She is scared for life.
    When she “wakes up” her rage and anger will be deeper than the ocean and she will swing a complete 180* from where she is now…thats if she doesn’t take her own life.
    I think having her writings and diaries posted all over the internet is just as damaging and betraying.
    I want to just weep for her…the little girl is screaming for help! How sad. how sick. how evil this all is.

  20. avatar
    Betsy November 6, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    I would like to know why the DA objected to Healed having a Guardian Ad Lidem! This fact makes me very suspicious. As a former Legal Child Advocate, I think this is reprehensible and one should be appointed straight away. Montoya needs to find child victim advocates that have special experience in cross cultural communications! Like NOW! I don’t care whose side you are on, Healed should have an advocate.

  21. avatar
    KM November 6, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    Why do you think her parents are not qualified to be their child’s advocate? Because of a swat on the leg? Or because they are not going along with her desire to live at SC?

    She’s obviously trying everything she can to maintain contact with WB and the people at SC. Would a Guardian make that big of difference? Would she go live in a foster home with the guardian, maybe in a different city?

    I’m absolutely serious, how does it work? And why would it work better than what her parents are doing by loving her and trying to keep her safe from something they and others perceive as harmful?

    Ms. Montoya is not her lawyer, she’s WB’s and she’s trying to get him off some very serious charges. One way to do that would to make sure one of the witnesses doesn’t say anything incriminating (it’s a little to late for that though). I doubt she has the right to plead for help for the person who is a witness in her client’s case. Another lawyer is already in trouble for contacting the girl and offering to represent her. There must be more than we know going on.

    Do you know something we don’t?

  22. avatar
    Betsy November 6, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    Could also remember it is not Healed that is being tried??

  23. avatar
    Betsy November 6, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    A Guardian Ad Lidem is an advocate for legal proceedings only. It would not change her living status, or anything else. It would be a court appointed person who knows the working of legal processes whose sole job is to advocate for the best interests of a victim with the court, throughout the process. The judge’s job is to interpret law, to oversee court proceedings…not advocate for Healed. Montoya’s job is to represent WB, not advocate for Healed. Child protection’s job is to uphold the law, which is not always advocating for Healed. So if it is not in Healed’s best mental interest to testify in front of WB, whose job is it to make sure her mental health, spiritual health is being protected? Whose job is it to say, we need to do this via closed circuit TV, rather live court…for Healed’s sake? Whose decision is it that this may destroy this young child’s life…all for a 6 month sentence with 3 suspended for time served, yet we will proceed? I’ll tell you, its either a Guardian Ad Lidem’s or legal advocate. My understanding is this was objected to by the DA months ago. Why?

  24. avatar
    KM November 6, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    Betsy, I went back through the pages on this blog and found the defense argument against a guardian. There is a lot of mumbo jumbo but #11 and #12 seem to address why there wasn’t one appointed for Healed. See this link:

    https://www.beyond90seconds.com/state-of-new-mexicos-response-to-defendants-motion-for-defendants-motion-for-appointment-of-guardian-ad-litem/

    Apparently she was appointed an attorney but something happened and they decided she didn’t need one.

    I couldn’t find Ms. Montoya’s motion for a guardian but it’s probably around somewhere. But on Oct. 14, the judge signed the order denying a guardian:

    https://www.beyond90seconds.com/order-denying-defendants-motion-for-appointment-of-guardian-ad-litem/

    I do see where it might be in her interest to protect her from some of the decisions she’s made on her own but there must be more that we don’t know that is keeping her from having one.
    Maybe it’s similar to the courts letting Willow go back to her family. The courts decided that her family could protect her from any harm. Whether that’s the case, I don’t know and no one else is telling.

    I do feel bad for Healed because she is right smack dab in the middle of things whether she wants to be or not. But the reality is that if WB had not done what he did (right or wrong, I’m not judging that) and had not let it be written about and filmed for public viewing, NONE of this would be going on.

    So the one who is really accountable for any damage to Healed or the others is WB. And I don’t think he cares for one minute about what is going on in Healed’s life or anyone else’s. All he cares about at this moment is his own skin.

  25. avatar
    Betsy November 6, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Thanks KM, I’ve read those documents. There are more provisions for Guardian Ad Lidem’s, than just age. More than anything, I’m trying to wrap my mind around why a DA, or anybody for that matter, would oppose an advocate for a child during a legal process. A legal argument to pose to the court obviously, if any child advocates are up to the task.

    My personal concern is not really for Wayne, or his accountability, or even if he’s convicted to tell you the truth. It is for Healed. If you were a person injured by malpractice surgery, and the only way to prove it, were to do invasive harmful surgery once again to retrieve the evidence, I wonder if you would do it. Would any of us?

    And yet, we unconsciously and repeatedly expose victims to further confusion, abuse, derision, humiliation and trauma through our justice system as it is today. And we offer Healed nobody to aid her through it?

    So, she’s left in the mental, spiritual, and physical care of the parents whose judgement ultimately put her there in the first place. I just don’t understand. That’s all.

  26. avatar
    raycot November 6, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    I can see the benefit of having a legal advocate for Healed to aid her through the legal system. It should be, however, an otherwise neutral party who has no interest, or an appearance of interest, in the outcome of the criminal trial of Wayne Bent. Mr Lea does not appear to be it.

    Mr. Lea is an employee in the law firm of Maestas and Boothby, P.C. whose speciality appears to be legal obstruction of justice (“Maestas believes that cases are best won through aggressive and comprehensive work prior to trial”…). Mr Maestas was contacted by Wayne Bents defense attorney, Ms. Montoya, to help seven SC people avoid having to give statements in this case as sought by the DA. If Mr. Lea were to be Healed’s advocate, there would be too much appearance that he was in fact doing this to help a State’s witness assist the defense to obstruct and destroy the case against Mr. Bent.

  27. avatar
    KM November 6, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    Do you know if CPS can petition for an advocate for her – obviously an attorney can’t just call her up and volunteer? It seems like her parents, who are doing their best to care for her, might not be up to the task of legally protecting her rights as far as the trial is concerned, i.e., apparently they are not lawyers. Yet, they are her parents and maybe THEY should be the ones to find an attorney or advocate to go to bat for Healed. Not necessarily to prevent her from testifying but to allow for things like you mentioned such as closed circuit TV, etc. As well, an advocate might be able to counsel her in a non threatening way and mention that by writing all these things and sending them to different people she is being used. Not just by one side but everyone, including WB.

    Having children near the same age, I do understand the anguish she must be going through, it’s tough enough being a teenager let alone dealing with something like this.

    As far as her parent’s judgement that put her in this situation, I’m not sure they or others should totally take the blame for the type of situation they found themselves in. I still feel like it comes down to one very egotistical man who using mind control and playing God has ruined many good lives.

  28. avatar
    Betsy November 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    The fact is, if the court had appointed a GAL, there would not have been a door open for Mr. Lea to put his foot in. That is the whole point of a GAL, neutrality in regards to all but the best interests of the victim. Even parents can’t always consider the best for their children when it comes to criminal cases. Obviously, they have an attachment to the outcome. I don’t fault them, that is their job! I would do the same as a parent.

    This discussion has certainly NOT been to suggest Mr. Lea be her advocate, if that is what is being implied. To me, speaking just for myself, Its not alright that she’s having to write letters to the courts, and DA’s. She should have an adult voice representing her, who is trained and understands not only the legal system, but the process of healing that victims experience. A voice to represent her, and aid her in understanding the legal system, and her role in it along with her role’s limitations.

    Sigh! I think that’s it, I’ll get off my soap box now.

  29. avatar
    KM November 6, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    Well, Betsy, it was a good soapbox and I think we all understand a little bit better why it would be good to have an advocate or guardian to protect Healed through the legal process.

    Maybe something will come of this discussion and the adults in this process will think a little harder about what Healed might be going through.

    Once again, good job in bringing up an area that I for one blew off as unimportant but now think it might be very valuable for her sake.

  30. avatar
    David November 7, 2008 at 3:54 am #

    I’m not saying she doesn’t have a right to a GAL, but, as a primary witness who has committed no crime, what’s the purpose? I suppose the DA could treat her as a hostile witness when the trial starts. Then, I could see a need. But, I think her parents are filling that role…even though she doesn’t agree with their train of thought.

  31. avatar
    CryTears November 7, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    Is WayBent on a fast, or is it the final fast or is it the final final fast?
    What happened to the won’t taste water till he’s in heaven.
    Or was he just pulling our legs again?!?!
    Doesn’t he have any shame for telling bald face lies on public forums?
    Guess not, if he can talk openly about shagging all the ladies, that god forced him to do it.
    I’d think he has a case against god, rape!
    I didn’t know men could be forced into “that”!

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