With years of uploading his religious teachings onto the Web now under his belt, one might suspect that some of what Wayne Bent has published in cyberspace is destined to become a focal point in the State of New Mexico’s criminal case against him.
Arm-chair prosecutors often point to the bits of Bent’s posts concerning “consummations” and “laying naked” as proof of what they is a man guilty of pedophilia.
But less than two hours prior to the start of Bent’s trial, it seems reasonable to consider the possibility that little to none of what Bent had published on his church’s Web site, strongcity.info, will ever be heard by a jury.
It’s one thing to say what seems obvious; that Bent has espoused his religious beliefs on the ‘net for years.
But it is an entirely different matter when it comes to proving it.
Even if a post had a byline stating that it had been written by Wayne Bent (and many posts do), absent an admission by Bent, one would be tasked with gathering evidence to support any claim that Bent had penned the piece.
The pursuit of evidence on computers requires the proper experts, time and money; all perhaps even more scarce in the largely remote 8th Judicial District.
How likely is the State of New Mexico to make such investments as it sets-out to prove its contention that Bent had criminal sexual contact with two teenage girls? It may appear to be an unpopular question. But, again, it seems worth considering.
Beyond90Seconds.com has learned that a purported expert in computer forensics recently shared some of his knowledge with the prosecution’s team. That person’s name, Sam Redman, also appears on the witness list. Although that’s no guarantee he’ll be called to testify.
I’m told that following his discussions with members of the DA’s Office, Redman was later interviewed by Bent’s attorney. That’s not surprising as his name appears on the State’s witness list.
Redman’s name may be familiar to regular visitors of this blog as he has often written in the comments sections of posts concerning the Bent case.
While I haven’t confirmed it, word is that back in 1986, Redman was one of two developers of the first caching program for the personal computer. I’m also told that, in 1987, he also won the PC Magazine award for Technical Excellence for application software.
According to a source, the prosecution in the Bent case wanted Redman to testify about his experience in capturing files that Bent and many of his followers had published, then removed from the Internet. I’m told that Redman was able to preserve those files with their “cache date stamps”. That would appear to be important in any attempt to prove who had published and/or written the text on those files.
Beyond90Seconds.com has learned that Redman is also the person who built the Web site that “mirrors” the site Bent had taken down. It’s interesting to note that over the weekend a new tab appeared on that mirror site: Legal.
I’m told Redman had previously shared the new “Legal” page with the prosecution. Clearly, the new page is aimed at nailing Bent.
Should the State’s case reveal itself to be devoid of any pursuit of Bent’s cyber postings, expect the DA’s team to invest considerable energy on what was said in the safe house interviews with the alleged victims. Letters written by the girl known as “Healed” to prosecutors could also become a focal point of the State’s case.
And then, there’s also the expected defense argument about freedom of religion. But that would be a story for another time…