August 10, 2010
JAWA EXCLUSIVE: Court Docs - Rifqa Bary's father, Mohamed Bary, threatened Rifqa's counselor, who in fear refused to testify on her behalf; Prosecutor Ron O'Brien refuses to file charges because "it will negatively impact the Muslim community"
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UPDATE: Ron O'Brien's office has responded. Go here for the update.
Yes, we've all been told by the Columbus Dispatch, the Orlando Sentinel and the St. Petersburg Times over the past year how Rifqa Bary's father, Mohamed Bary, would never hurt a soul. But threaten a counselor to intimidate her into not testifying on her daughter's behalf before a juvenile court judge - that is another matter.
That is the case laid out in court filings submitted last week in the Rifqa Bary custody case (Rifqa turns 18 tomorrow). According to those court documents, some still under court seal, Mohamed Bary threatened Rifqa's counselor, Jennifer Dorn, through his own court-appointed counselor, saying that "bad things happen to people who testify". As a result, Dorn steadfastly refuse to testify on Rifqa's behalf in court last week in fear for her life as a magistrate considered whether to keep her in state custody until her 18th birthday tomorrow.
Court documents filed last week in the case hinted at Mohamed Bary's threat, but documents still under seal reveal threats of violence and sexual abuse by Mohamed Bary. A remarkable number of documents which reflect poorly on Mohamed Bary - filing which are typically open public records in most case - have been sealed.
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien, however, is refusing to charge Mohamed Bary with witness intimidation in the case despite multiple witnesses according to a source inside O'Brien's office, because as he says, filing charges against Mohamed Bary now "it would reflect negatively on the Muslim community." Thus, in Franklin County, Ohio now people are not treated equally under the law, but according to their ethnicity and religious preference. Ron O'Brien, who has fought against Rifqa's case on virtually every point over the past year, has now imposed a bizarre Ahmed Crow legal regime in Central Ohio. O' Brien, however, is prosecuting one of Rifqa's attorneys, Angela Lloyd, for inadvertently filing a court document that should have been under seal, and which her co-counsel, Kort Gatterdam, quickly resolved without any exposure to the media or public.
You can contact Ron O'Brien's office at the number below or through this online contact form:
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien
373 South High St. 14th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Needless to say, we'll have more on this in the coming days, especially if some of the documents are unsealed by the court. Stay tuned.