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Friday, October 21, 2011
Time: 12:33 PM


Tomorrow is D-Day for Greater Danbury's famous anti-immigrant xenophobe as John McGowan will learn how much time he will serve in prison for sexual assault.

The 2007 mayoral candidate and co-founder of the anti-immigrant hate group United States Citizens for Immigration and Law Enforcement, was convicted of first degree sexual assault in August of this year and is scheduled to be sentenced at Litchfield Superior Court at 9:30 AM.

I will be on-hand to provide a special LIVE BLOG of the sentencing as it happens in real time (thankfully, Litchfield Superior Court allows the use of laptops computers in the courtroom). Since I've been to most of the proceedings (more than any other reporter who has covered the trial), I'll FINALLY give my take on the entire trial from the beginning and why McGowan's own boneheaded stupidity probably resulted in him losing his freedom.

9:30 PM: The Waterbury Rep-Am did a second article on McGowan's sentencing.

8:55 AM: Apparently, it seems like McGowan has trouble obeying court instructions...

In August, after being convicted of rape, McGowan took to the air to talk about his court case and said the following.

"I'm not going anywhere," McGowan said on Comcast Cable Channel 23. "I'm going to keep doing my show. I'm not going to change what I'm about.

"I don't care what the jury says, guilty or not," he said. "I'm going to keep coming here. If you don't like it, tough."

During yesterday's sentencing, the Judge told McGowan the following...
In addition to the four years in prison and 10 years parole, Ginocchio said he would suggest to parole that McGowan be required to register as a sex offender for life, abide by sex offender evaluation and treatment, obey a full no-contact protective order protecting the victim, and not mention the case or victim on any cable access show he does.

Here's what McGowan said last night hours after being released on 100,000 appeal bail.

McGowan: "We're here live on October 21st and like I stated a while back, I'm not going anywhere"

[Co-Host] Kevin Gallagher: Good.

McGowan: ...like I stated a while back I'm not going anywhere.

Given the serious of his situation (and the fact that he shoiuld count his lucky stars for being free on bail pending appeal) maybe McGowan's attorney should tell the convicted rapist to his off-handed references about his court case on TV could land him back in prison.

10.22.11, 8:30 AM: The Register Citizen has more details on the sentencing hearing...
More than half a dozen people spoke on Bethel resident John McGowan’s behalf in Litchfield Superior Court Friday in an attempt to get him a light sentence following his first-degree sexual assault conviction in August. McGowan is a former Danbury mayoral candidate and Bethel public access television host.

The conviction carries a minimum two-year jail sentence, with enough years of parole to make a total sentence of 10 years.

Judge James P. Ginocchio gave McGowan a slightly higher sentence of four years in prison followed by 10 years of special parole, which fell halfway between the minimum sentence and State’s Attorney David Shannon’s recommendation of six years in jail with 14 years special parole.

Shannon told the judge he believed McGowan should get more than the minimum sentence, saying he believes rape to be one of the most serious crimes there is, short of murder or harming a child.

The victim, referred to as Jane Doe, read a prepared letter stressing the difficulty she and her family have had dealing with the case over the past three years, saying that McGowan “took her humanity.”

She went on to ask that McGowan be given the maximum amount of parole so that he would be supervised.

“I have been given a life sentence of fear,” she said.

After the prosecution rested, McGowan read his prepared statement and maintained his innocence, saying that he was raised to tell the truth, and chose to represent himself because he believed the truth would prevail.

“I never would have represented myself if it wasn’t obvious I was innocent,” he said.

Once McGowan finished, multiple friends and family members spoke on his behalf, calling him a gentle person and a useful and needed member of the community.


Several individuals were cautioned by Ginocchio to keep their statements to McGowan’s character instead of the case itself, as he had already been convicted and the facts were not in question.

After everyone spoke, Ginocchio made his remarks, saying that – unlike some of McGowan’s friends thought – his gut instinct was to believe the victim.

“I can’t imagine that she would have come up here and testified like she did unless she was telling the truth,” he said. “I believed Jane Doe, and the jury believed Jane Doe.”

In addition to the four years in prison and 10 years parole, Ginocchio said he would suggest to parole that McGowan be required to register as a sex offender for life, abide by sex offender evaluation and treatment, obey a full no-contact protective order protecting the victim, and not mention the case or victim on any cable access show he does.

The defense said they plan to appeal, and requested Ginocchio set an appellate bond, though Shannon objected. Ginocchio agreed to set a bond, and set it at $100,000 cash or surety.

7:15 PM The Waterbury Republican-American and News-Times posted their write-ups on today's proceeding.

5:30 PM: Here's more on what happened today.

* During the sentencing hearing, several people spoke for and against McGowan.

* The victim in this crime read a prepared statement in court.

* McGowan's mother spoke in support of her son.

* Several people (possibly a total of 8) also spoke in favor of McGowan.

* State Attorney wanted McGowan sentenced to six years in prison with 14 years special probation. Judge gave McGowan a lesser sentence of 4 years in prison (2 years mandatory).

* State argued against the defense attorney's recommendation for an appeal bond (which basically means that McGowan is free pending appeal). Judge ruled in favor of the defense but set McGowan's bail at 100,000 dollars (which probably means 10,000 to the bails bondsman). It's unclear if the bail has been posted yet.

* The judge ordered McGowan not to mention the victim or the case on his local access show.

Still gathering more details....reporters from several media outlets are working not the story and articles should be posted later this evening. No word on whether McGowan will be free before his live TV shows airs at 9:00 on Comcast 23 (John McGowan Presents).

5:00 PM: BREAKING NEWS...McGowan sentenced to 4 years in prison (2 years min). McGowan's attorney was able to get an appeal bond, which means the former mayoral candidate is free pending appeal. Bond was set at 100,000 dollars.

...more later.

4:00 PM: Court still in session...awaiting news from court clerk office.

3:00 PM: Awaiting word from Litchfield...news soon.

2:00 PM: From August, here's McGowan on his local access show speaking on his conviction.

12:40 PM Here's Attorney Michael Voytek's bio:
Michael graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1983, from Fairfield University in 1987, magna cum laude, and from Emory Law School in 1990, with distinction. At Emory, he was the Managing Editor of the Emory International Law Review and was published in the Emory Journal of International Affairs. Michael is admitted to practice law in the States of Connecticut, New York, Georgia and Massachusetts. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

Michael started his career at Lord, Day and Lord, a Wall Street law firm in 1990. He worked principally on mergers and acquisitions matters in its New York office. After a brief stint in Boston at Goodwin Procter, Michael worked at Paul Hastings law firm in its New York and Atlanta offices for over 10 years. While at Paul Hastings, Michael acted in a General Counsel capacity for corporate entities, officers and directors and entrepreneurs in many diverse industries. After leaving Paul Hastings, from 2003 thru 2004, he bolstered the corporate practice of Goodkind Labaton in New York working on general corporate, contracts, and transactional matters such as m&a, corporate finance, securities and private equity deals. In 2005, he started the Voytek Law Firm.

In addition to his legal work, Michael is active in his community having served on a variety of charitable boards of directors (most notably on the Boy Scouts' Connecticut Yankee Council's Executive Board as its VP of Legal Affairs and on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Bridgeport). He also served on the Board of the Bethel Women's Recovery Center as its General Counsel. He was the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Connecticut Eagle Scout Association.

Michael is also involved with local community groups in Bridgeport - serving as Chairman of the Committee to Ungag the People, as Special Counsel to the Boys and Girls Club of Bridgeport and the Derail the Jail Committee and as general counsel to various NRZs in the City of Bridgeport. By way of additional pro bono work, he helps indigent tenants at the Security Deposit Clinic in Waterbury and Bridgeport on a monthly basis.

In his spare time, Michael makes appearances on "Bridgeport Now", a local cable news television show where he provides commentary on local and state political issues. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Roma Club and is actively involved with the New Canaan Society. Michael is proud to be an Eagle Scout.

You can also read several articles on Voytek's activities in the Bridgeport area (via Only in Bridgeport website).

09.21.11, 9:40 AM: I'm at the courthouse in Litchfield where I just learned that McGowan's sentencing has been pushed back to 2 PM.

McGowan has FINALLY retained an attorney who will probably request an appeal bond. Attorney name: Michael Voytek.

Don't know if I can stay till 2 for the sentencing but there will be several media outlets on hand to cover the event.


posted by ctblogger at 12:33 PM | Permalink|


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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.



Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint

Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park


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