Motions to be made today in Leary

by Thom Nadeau of Notable Trials The prosecution and defense huddled in chambers with Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian yester...

by Thom Nadeau
of Notable Trials


The prosecution and defense huddled in chambers with Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian yesterday afternoon dickering over which of several motions would be considered in the matter of People v. Michael Leary..

Davidian emerged late in the day to announce that no public action would be taken on any of the proposed motions would be heard until today, Thursday.

Proceedings continue in Department 37 on the fifth floor of the courthouse at Eighth and H streets.

Davidian also advised representatives from a McGeorge School of Law-based victims’ rights group that has taken an interest in the Leary matter to get their arguments assembled and return today.

Judge will hear motions ...

He would then listen to their views on whether the defense should be allowed to present certain portions of alleged fraud victim Alyc Maselli personal mental and sexual history to the as-yet-to-be-chosen jury.

The three-member party from the McGeorge victims’ rights advocacy group was headed by school advisor Kathleen Benton, She was trailed by two certified law students, one male, one female.

Yes, indeed, the Leary tale gets more and more complicated with each passing court day.

On the procedural front, a relaxed Davidian – speaking off the bench and in street dress – outlined for the few in the gallery how he expected the next several trial days to go.

He will hear today Deputy District Attorney Michael Blazina’s and defense attorney William Portanova’s arguments on which of their trial motions he should consider.

The exact nature of the motions – said to be seven in number – was unclear. However, according to Leary, who was also left lingering in the gallery while the attorneys and judge met behind closed doors, said the ones he knew about revolved around whether the jury would hear certain allegations about Maselli’s personal history.

The prosecution and the victim’s rights group would rather the jury not learn about that aspect of the complicated dispute which gave rise to the criminal charges against Leary and a related civil lawsuit Leary filed against Maselli and others.

Nothing on the Leary matter is expected to be taken up on Friday and jury selection will not begin until Monday, Davidian said.

Leary has pleaded innocent to all six criminal fraud and related accusations lodged against him in People v. Leary, #09F07685, including bribery.
His trial is expected to last about four or five days with the length of the following jury deliberations uncertain.

If convicted he could face a prison term of about five years and four months and fined up to $75,000, Blazina said.

On the other hand, if the jury finds him innocent of all charges, the 50-year-old Leary said he expects to seek his reinstatement as a lieutenant with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, a position he was forced to leave when the charges were brought.

He would also be entitled to back pay, if he were reinstated, Leary said.

Leary has filed a civil suit alleging his ex-girlfriend and the title company she worked for plus several of her co-workers claiming they defrauded him of thousands of dollars.

A separate investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission of money-laundering and campaign fraud claims made against Leary also remain pending.

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