PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608
Email: tstoddard@saveservices.org

SAVE Applauds Proposed Suspension of Prosecutor Mary Kellett,

Calls for Restitution and Stronger Oversight Measures

WASHINGTON/December 11, 2012 – A Maine bar association panel has recommended the suspension of prosecutor Mary N. Kellett, two years after the state Supreme Court reprimanded Kellett for unethical actions. SAVE applauds the panel’s decision, and calls for stronger oversight of prosecutor conduct.

SAVE – Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – a victim advocacy organization, deplores the fact that frivolous prosecutions harm the credibility of victims and waste scarce taxpayer resources.

In September 2010 the Maine Supreme Judicial Court rebuked Assistant District Attorney Kellett for numerous irregularities in prosecuting a rape claim against Vladek Filler. Despite the decision, Kellett continued to prosecute sexual assault cases that lacked DNA evidence, independent witnesses, and credible allegations, SAVE alleges.

On March 29, 2011, SAVE filed a Grievance Complaint with the Board of Overseers of the Bar calling for Kellett’s disbarment “in order to assure the safety and tranquility of the citizens of Maine:” http://www.saveservices.org/dvlp/campaigns/abuse-hysteria-campaign/

On April 6, 2012, the Board of Overseers of the Bar issued a Disciplinary Petition concluding Mary Kellett acted in a manner “unworthy of an attorney” for violating nine rules of attorney conduct.

Earlier this week, the bar panel concluded Kellett had repeatedly engaged in unethical and inappropriate conduct. The panel noted that Kellett’s own expert admitted Kellett appeared to be “bucking the court” during a hearing of her actions conducted in October: http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3478/ItemId/25123/Default.aspx

“Even after the 2010 Supreme Court decision was handed down, the Maine Attorney General failed to exercise any oversight of prosecutor Mary Kellett, allowing her to continue her overly zealous and misguided prosecution of dubious cases,” notes SAVE spokesman Steve Blake. “Clearly, stronger oversight procedures need to be put in place. And Maine owes defendant Vladek Filler restitution for the financial, legal, and emotional damage that it allowed to be placed on one of its citizens.”

Wrongful prosecutions of sexual assault cases have become a national problem, SAVE notes. According to one analysis of DNA samples, one in 10 rape convictions in Virginia were wrong: http://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2012/07/groundbreaking-research-one-out-of.html

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: www.saveservices.org.