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Sex, Cops and Lawyers

Legal procedures are expected to begin in Yuba County Superior Court Monday, June 1, on two complicated and interlocked law cases involving two prominent attorneys suing a well-connected local businessman over alleged sexual abuses of teenage girls.

In a matter that has risen to felony level People v. Jesse Santana and David Vasquez accuses the two attorneys – Santana specifically – of improperly demanding a $100,000 payoff for settling a civil suit that was threatened against Joseph Griesa, a prominent businessman and former Sutter County probation officer.

Specifically, in People v. Santana, Vasquez, Yuba County Superior Court case #CFR-08-825, Santana’s attorney, Roberto Marquez, asked that visiting Superior Court Judge John H. Darlington order the district attorney’s office to provide important information not previously provided to the defense.

The former Nevada County judge agreed. A deputy DA assured Darlington that the information would be located and revealed.

Meanwhile, allegations proceed against Griesa, who is financially connected with the highly visible Mitchell Towing Service, which is a significant contractor with the Marysville Police Department.

The alleged sexual abuses Griesa is accused of took place between 2006 and 2007.

Griesa is alleged to have "sexually and physically abused young girls." The four victims mentioned in the documents were all teenagers at the time. They were only identified by pseudonyms.

Griesa’s alleged behavior included masturbating in front of the girls, court documents and news reports stated.

The matter became the focus of a grand jury probe in 2008. Santana and Vasquez have yet to enter pleas in the case. The whole matter could prove a serious professional embarrassment.

Court documents and news reports report that Griesa bragged about being immune to the cops because he was connected, as the saying goes. This could prove to be a possible a criminal conviction with lifetime penalties for Griesa.

“In typical child molester fashion, Griesa selects young girls, who are poor, neglected or runaways, and ‘grooms’ them to until he sexually abuses his young victims. Griesa then either showers them with money or gifts and or he threatens to kill them or their family, sometime using a firearm or knife,” according to a Marquez.

Defense filings April 20, 2009 specifically accused Griego of sexual abuse and investigating Marysville Police Department Detective Randall Elliot of “not being truthful” in his reports in order to give Griesa a free pass on his alleged behavior.

Santana’s attorney, Roberto Marquez, maintains that Elliott “has a pattern of dishonesty, of filing false report and or filing dishonestly.”

The long-running case became the focus of a Yuba County Grand Jury investigation that drew considerable controversy

Marquez has additionally alleged that Elliott not only attempted to persuade one girl and family who pursued a legal action not to sue Griesa but also lied to the grand jury about it.

While the Yuba County DA has accused Santana of attempting to prevent one of the victims from telling police and prosecutors about sexual and physical abuse by her employer in 2006 and 2007, it must recalled that this was at the time a civil suit and it is not uncommon for seeking a discreet out-out-court settlement.

The question remains whether the DA’s office and the MPD (and the Marysville City Department which contracts with the towing company) were attempting avoid the embarrassment of the settlement.

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