The opening day in the first degree sexual assault case against former Danbury mayoral candidate John McGowan should go down as one of the most bizarre court appearances of all time.
McGowan, the co-founder/former Vice President of the infamous anti-immigration/hate group, United States Citizens for Immigration and Law Enforcement, former treasurer of Paul Streitz's anti-immigration/hate group Connecticut Citizens for Immigration and Law Enforcement, and prominent figure in the xenophobic movement in the greater Danbury area, was arrested last month on a first degree sexual assault charge. According to CT Defense Lawyer website, if found guilty, the former second in command in Elise Marciano's rabid hate movement could be sentenced to 1 to 20 years in prison and fined up to 15,000 dollars for his alleged actions.
PART ONE: The hearing
The only word I can come up with to describe John McGowan's actions in court yesterday is bizarre.
Here's how things went at court yesterday.
I arrived at the courthouse in Litchfield (pictured at the right) around 9:30, took a seat in the gallery, and waited for McGowan's case to be called. Among those in attendance to witness the case was McGowan's BFF (and local anti-immigrant racist/pervert/anti-Semite/male chauvinist Tom "Big(o)T" Bennett as well as several friends of McGowan. Those from the media included yours truly, News-Times reporter John Pirro, and Register-Citizens court reporter Tracy Kennedy.
After the judge heard several cases (and took a short recess to talk to the prosecutors), McGowan's case was finally called...and the fireworks began.
From the start, you had the feeling that McGowan, who was representing himself in court, was going to turn the court hearing into a spectacle...and he basically did just that.
Superior Court Judge James Ginocchio called McGowan's name to come forward from the gallery area but McGowan seemed to refuse and made some statement that no one in attendance could understand (I've requested a transcript of the hearing so I can find out what the hell he was talking about). After being called upon several times, McGowan finally came forward and continued his strange and erratic behavior.
Court reporter Tracy Kennedy for the Register-Citizen accurately recounts the silliness.
John McGowan, 43, 8 Fairchild Drive, appeared for the first time in the Litchfield court Tuesday. After being ordered to come forward from the spectator section, McGowan approached, clutching papers and uttering nonsensical phrases.
“I do not grant jurisdiction in this matter, knowingly or willingly,” McGowan said.
When Ginocchio asked if McGown had an attorney or planned to represent himself, McGowan referred to himself in the third person, telling the court, “How can a lawyer represent me in my private capacity?” and “Are these charges directed toward me as a natural man?”
News-Times reporter Pirro echos Kennedy's account of what happened.
The 43-year-old McGowan, who lives in Bethel, where he runs an oil business, responded instead with comments rejecting the authority of the state and federal government, and of the courts over individuals.
"Are the charges directed against me as a natural man?" "I do not agree to grant jurisdiction?" and "How can a lawyer represent me in my private capacity?" were among the statements McGowan made during his brief court appearance Tuesday.
After about 5 minutes of this
McGowan tried to either read a statement to the judge, or have some papers entered into the record, at which point the judge informed him that he needed to send those files to the clerk office and said something along the lines of get "read a book on law and learn how the process works" (or something like that).
Needless to day that driving the distance to Litchfield was worth the trip...
McGowan is scheduled to appear back in court on September 22nd, at which point, if he does not come back with the required psychiatric report (or refuses to see a psychiatrist), the judge has stated that he will increase the amount of the bond (McGowan posted a 7,500 bond). This could result in McGowan being sent behind bars.
PART TWO: The arrest warrant affidavit for John McGowan
Although the court hearings might have you scratching your head, one read of the McGowan's arrest warrant affidavit will leave you speechless.
News-Times Pirro described the incident as non-graphically as possible:
In the 13-page affidavit, the woman describes a variety of sexual encounters to which she consented, but she claimed that on Oct. 20, 2008, after attending a meeting at McGowan's church, he assaulted her anally at a house he was building on Juniper Road in New Milford.
The woman told police she said, "What are you doing?" and "Stop," but McGowan instead "put his right arm around her neck and put her in a headlock," according to the affidavit.
After speaking with counselors at the women's shelter in Danbury, the victim went to New Milford Hospital on Oct. 22 and hospital personnel called police, according to the affidavit.
From incidents at Comcast local access studios, references to Faith Church in New Milford, encounters in remote locations, and sexual material that I won't dare get into, the only word that I can come up with after reading the report was "shocking."
You can view a complete copy of the report by clicking on the following link (WARNING!!!!!: PLEASE be advised that the following report contains EXTREMELY disturbing and explicit sexual material).
Upon viewing the report, you'll notice the name of another member of Elise Marciano's klan that comes up quite frequently...one Barbara Keidel. Since it seems that Keidel is referenced several critical times in the victim's sworn written statement to the police within the report, lets just say that here's a possibility that we'll hear her name mentioned more often as this case develops.
In short, if the allegations and statements within the report are proven true, then it might be within McGowan's best interest to get that court-ordered psychiatric examination, hire an attorney, and answer questions with a "semblance of coherence."
...to be continued.
- McGowan harass marchers, desecrates Mexican flag at 2006 immigration rally
- McGowan joins racist local access personality Tom "Big T" Bennett in inciting people to harm members of the immigrant community.
- Fairfield Weekly mocks McGowan's campaign for mayor.
- Elise Marciano anti-immigrant group members applaud while speaker advocates placing immigrants in WW-II style concentration camps.