Commonwealth Journal

Local News

September 16, 2013

Videos showing alleged brutality open to public in Molen case

Judge: Files can’t be copied

Somerset —

Video files showing a Pulaski County deputy sheriff’s alleg-ed brutal acts will be open to the public as his case continues to trial, but a federal judge has opted to disallow copying of those files in the face of fair trial concerns. 
“ ... The potential for public benefit from copying the exhibits is less than the potential harm to the fair and orderly administration of justice, including the defendant’s right to a fair trial,” stated an order handed down last week and signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanley A. Ingram. 
Ingram is over-seeing Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Molen’s case as it moves through the court system in U.S. Eastern District Court in London, Ky. 
Molen was indicted in the Eastern District in June on two counts of violating the civil rights of two victims in incidents from October 2009 and October 2011. The two victims are local tow truck company owner Danny Whitaker and Pulaski County resident Gordon Cowan. 
The indictments state that Molen “willfully deprived (the victims) of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution of the United States, to be secure in his person against unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a person acting under color of law.” 
Molen has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 
It was during an Aug. 13 hearing that federal prosecutors stated they intend to file two disks containing video footage as 404(b) evidence. 404(b) evidence is evidence of other crimes or wrong acts that may be used in court for proof of motive, opportunity, intent, or other factors. 
A request for discovery turned up the numerous uncharged incidents to be used as possible 404(b) evidence, which allegedly occurred between October 2005 and May 2012, a span of six-and-a-half years. 

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