Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – July 23, 2017 -Brief background:  At 14 years old, Mercy Ranger secretly had a sexual relationship with a 40+ year old man which she confessed on the witness stand. Her parents were raising her and her brothers and sisters in a fundamentalist Christian household. Had they lived in Pennsylvania in a Mennonite community none of this would have happened. By 16, Mercy Ranger desperately wanted to get out of her strict household.

The problem: Mennonite dress and behavior is one of modesty and the Rangers were living in California, Northern California. Red neck territory, “No law beyond the Klamath.”  Where teenage girls wear a ton of make-up, suggestive clothing and have the fifth highest pregnancy rate in the State.

Some could call it a culture clash.  When Mercy was provided with a way out of the Bible-based living environment, she jumped at it.  Albeit, it was a drastic means to an end. She wanted to live with Sasha Upton.  If her parents would only sign the guardianship papers, no charges would be brought against her father.  Bryan Ranger would not go to jail.  But if he didn’t sign the guardianship papers, Mercy would make allegations of sexual molestation and do whatever it took to get free of the strict fundamentalist Christian household.

In stunning new evidence provided with this publication, audio taped conversations indicate that the Rangers were being blackmailed to sign guardianship papers and “everyone knew there was no sexual abuse,”… of Mercy Ranger by her father, Bryan Ranger.

This first audio tape is identified at 140601_001.  It runs 31 minutes and 51 seconds.

At 20:08, “Did you hear what I said?  No allegations of sexual abuse….”

At 20:21; “No sexual abuse period, there was none.”

Literally hours and of hours of conversations between Bryan Ranger, Judy Ranger, Mercy Ranger, Marcus Nash and Water Throop took place predominantly in 2012. The gist was to get Bryan and Judy Ranger to sign over guardianship of Mercy Ranger to Sasha Upton.

It wasn’t a polite request. It was blackmail. Illegal criminal blackmail.

“…….sign the God damn papers…..’

Did Public Defender, William Cater know about this? Yes he did.  A thumb drive was provided to his Private Investigator, Charles Rafferty. Witnesses came forward and told both Cater and Rafferty about the illegal criminal blackmail.  One man postponed his vacation during the trial in order to be called as a witness in order to testify. He was never called. Witnesses for the defense were angry for being interviewed by Attorney Cater just moments before being put on the witness stand and wondered why nothing was brought out about the illegal criminal blackmail.

Even while on the witness stand when a witness mentioned the blackmail, the prosecution objected and the witness was not allowed to testify on the matter. The objection was sustained by Judge Spinetta.

Bryan was found guilty on all 10 counts of rape and lewd conduct on June 26, 2017 by all 12 jurors in a little over two hours.  None of the jurors heard any of the evidence or witnesses connected to the illegal blackmail during the trial.

Because this is a case without a shred of forensic evidence, the prosecution relied almost exclusively on Mercy’s testimony.  From a legal standpoint, the evidence that was suppressed would ordinarily discredit Mercy’s testimony.  And for good reason.  Anyone who uses the threat of charges as a collateral advantage loses their credibility.

Right about now, if you were a juror on that trial wouldn’t you be asking, why was this excluded? Did Bryan’s attorney deliberately throw the case?







14 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Evidence that changes the case – Taped conversations begs the question- Did Bryan Ranger’s attorney throw the case?”
  1. Thank you, Connie, all excellent points.

    As one further point, Mercy never attested clearly remembering distinct acts of sexual abuse and instead testified it was like a dream, sometimes not sure if it was a dream or not. Without a shred of forensic evidence, that’s a pretty scary thing to hang someone on.

  2. Nick, Wes, Linda, Donna,
    A question about fair trials and inalienable rights.
    First, Linda, you wrote this, “So was the case of Judy Ranger who allowed this action to continue because she herself is broken by the very same abuse in her childhood.” Are you saying all women who have been a victim of sexual abuse will allow their children to suffer the same abuse that they had suffered? Why would you say that? First, it is not true and second, it only offers fear and continued feelings of hopelessness to abused women who want children. There are many support systems and educated, sensitive, therapists that offer guidance and enlightenment for women who want to be in charge of their future. And Judy does not deserve to be attacked with ignorant, insensitive predictions and accusations, void of any facts by ignorant, insensitive people.
    When indisputable evidence exists that leaves no doubt that Mr. Ranger has been held hostage in a jail cell for over four years because of an attempt to get him to sign over his parental rights to the mother of a child sex offender:
    1. Is the mother of Marcus Nash, Sasha Upton, culpable for allowing access to a child who he was involved with sexually?
    2.Threatening Blackmail: This sexual predator follows through with those threats of accusing Mr. Ranger of sexually abusing his daughter and destroying his family by having him jailed as his parental rights are destroyed and his children are taken away. ALL OF THE THREATS HAPPENED JUST AS NASH PROMISED. This had to be a well planned event with several players in special positions to pull-off this very sick scheme to remove the Ranger’s parental rights.
    3.Hiding it from the Jury: When the defense atty. for Mr. Ranger is given evidence that would have alerted the jury to the horrific crimes Mr. Ranger (and his entire family) has endured for YEARS and the DEFENSE atty does not provide the jury with testimony from witnesses and evidence that would exonerate Mr. Ranger labels the defense atty as one of the sick players.
    4.When a defense witness tries to testify about the truth and the prosecution “cuts her off at the pass” with an objection, the defense atty says NOTHING and the judge sustains that objection gives us two more players in special positions to pull this off. Warning to defendants: be suspicious of retired judges being hired by counties. This conflict of interest exists because counties are not likely to hire a judge who does not find for the county who hired them.
    5.An audio conversation exists that exonerates Mr. Ranger and gives cause for concern about his well being while in the custody of some apparently, very deranged people.
    6. Assemblywoman Patty Lopez wrote AB 1909, which Governor Brown signed September
    7. DNC Assemblyman Wood voted for AB 1909. Thank you!

    California prosecutors who willfully falsify or withhold evidence could wind up in prison, under a new law signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The bill, AB 1909, makes it a felony for prosecutors to intentionally falsify or withhold evidence. Previously, such acts were prosecuted as misdemeanors; they are already felonies for police officers.

    “Those individuals who are willing to win a case at all costs, who abuse their power as officers of the court, must answer for their actions,” said Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, who carried the legislation.

    The punishment is 16 months, two years or three years incarceration, depending on the circumstances and the specific violation.



    The prosecuting attorney is required, both constitutionally and
    statutorily, to disclose specified information and materials to
    the defendant. In California, the defendant is also statutorily
    required to disclose specified information and materials to the
    prosecution. (Penal Code §1054. 3(a).) Failure to divulge this
    information may result in a variety of sanctions being imposed
    on the prosecution including, e.g., striking a witnesses’
    testimony or complete reversal of a conviction. “Reversal is
    required when there is a ‘reasonable possibility’ that the error
    materially affected the verdict.” (United States v. Goldberg,
    582 F.2d 483, 488 (9th Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 973,
    59 L. Ed. 2d 790, 99 S. Ct. 1538 (1979).) A federal court
    recently described why this obligation is imposed: “Prosecutors
    click on link above for entire text

    To all the profiteering scum bag attorneys who practice law with no regard for justice, We are coming after you and we will get you.

    1. Excellent letter Connie, thanks for contributing new information and clarifying old. Have I missed something not understanding why a 40 year old boyfriend to a sixteen year old was not charged with statutory rape?

    2. Connie,

      what I understand through all of this…is you folks are living in the twilight zone…you have no clue of what you are saying. Beth Henion is right to state that this continued abuse toward Mercy Ranger is OUTRAGEOUS….you folks are so far off the beat it isn’t funny…Brian Ranger reminds me of Charles Manson…and you are his followers….because you don’t have any sense at all….Brian Ranger has you so baffled that you like him focus on Nash ….ok…so yes Mercy was tricked into having sex with NASH…but her learned behavior was a result from her own father who subjected her to that form of behavior…just as he subjected the rest of the children to perform sexual acts on each other….and in all of your minds…everyone is lying…but Brian Ranger….I don’t know what coolaid you all are drinking…but I’m glad I didn’t drink out of that glass….as far as Judy Ranger, may her soul return to hell from which it came along with her husband Brian Ranger…who …will go to prison, and get stabbed to death by an inmate, only after he is brutally raped several times.

      1. Just my opinion, you…Linda Sutter have made comments that are uncalled for. Exactly how did you become such an expert on the Rangers and their home life? What do you really know about the “facts”? Furthermore, it’s not your place to wish Judy to hell. And you don’t need to seem so gleeful to think that Bryan will be brutally raped and stabbed to death in prison. Talk about OUTRAGEOUS!

        1. Just to be clear…I’m not expressing an opinion on the guilt or innocence of Bryan Ranger. My opinion only deals with your rude and ugly comments.

  3. Ms Westfall I was wondering if God is in your heart, or if you even have a heart at all. Couldn’t you see how damaged Mercy Ranger and her siblings were in court? When you continually say negative and untrue things about a young lady who is struggling to stay alive, you do more and more damage. Please leave Mercy alone. The trial is over . The people have spoken. Surely you have more to do than rehash this dead issue.

    1. Ms. Henion – I have believed from the day I completed reading hundreds of pages of the court documents and from the Child Protective Services/Child Welfare Services documents that Bryan Ranger is innocent and Mercy Ranger is lying. Based on conversation with friends, Declaration’s from Witnesses and now hours of taped conversations have me convinced that Mercy is a lying, conniving young woman steeped in being a “victim” as well as victimizing many that come into contact with her including her siblings. I’m entitled to my opinion. Beth Henion. I’m entitled to see to it that true justice try to prevail. The Jury cannot judge accurately when they are not presented with all the evidence or because evidence was suppressed. Surely your best friend, Attorney, Sasha Upton, knows this. This is not going to be a dead issue…. not by a long shot. Donna Westfall

  4. Ranger has not been sent to CDCR because his sentencing date is in October where a Marsden hearing will be conducted, which is a waste of taxpayers money. It will undoubtedly fail because Ranger decided after the verdict his attorney was incompetent. Well, first off, in order for that to succeed Ranger would have been complaining and asking the court to reappoint at the get go of the trial. Ranger did not. He sat their throughout the entire trial smugly waiting to brow beat each and every child that testified. Ranger will be sent to CDCR in October.

    these tapes dont identify who is talking to who..i guess that wasnt important enough to be placed in the article.
    As far as this case not having forensic evidence it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out when you are a young child and get sexually molested, you are told that the bedtime story ends by saying “now don’t tell anyone.” But when you grow up and are safe from the molester you can come forth and file charges against the perp. These children suffered endlessly. They were very young when they were interviewed during the casting interviews. They told the truth in a safe space which was provided to them by Ed Fleshmen. And for anyone who believes that there was a conspiracy by the children is part of the problem. Hopefully none of you have children because you would not protect them when they came to you and said, “daddy touched my privates.” So was the case of Judy Ranger who allowed this action to continue because she herself is broken by the very same abuse in her childhood.

    The Attorney General, CPS, county law enforcement and the DA’s office did their job unforunately this case was not found out until Mercy sought help. And, also unfortunately she was made a victim again by Marcus Nash. It appears that two crimes were committed. However, Bryan Ranger wants to point fingers at marcus Nash to deflect from his own guilt. Not Working.

    1. Linda Sutter and I have drastically conflicting opinions as to what constitutes a fair trial. Linda conveniently avoids the gravity of this new evidence and instead wants it suppressed. I couldn’t disagree with Linda Sutter any more thoroughly.

      Linda goes as far as to suggest Bryan would be required to know the outcome of the trial before it started and fire his attorney before the trial started.

      As far as who is talking to who in the recordings, two witnesses have already declared under penalty of perjury they know who they were talking to. So, yes, we know who was talking to whom.

      Under settled law a witness’s credibility is compromised or negated when it’s motivated by blackmail. Linda conveniently avoids this fact.

      Finally, Linda Sutter says the case was not found out until Mercy sought help. But the new evidence shows Mercy also sought blackmail and that no charges would have never been brought if Bryan signed the guardianship papers.

      So, if Linda’s telling us Mercy was so traumatized by being raped by her dad that she immediately wanted a 40 year old boyfriend to have sex with, I’m not buying it.

  5. We got a guy who’s 40 years old and older, who was having a sexual relationship with a underage person and he’s not being investigated but somehow the girls father spends 4 years in jail may be sentenced to life in prison over accusations, now with evidence of pretensed by blackmail?

    We have a father, torn from his family and tossed in jail 4 years, on nothing more than hearsay. He didn’t get his day in court until members of the public organized and demonstrated for his release, bringing needed attention to this situation. Only then, did the prosecution move forward and oh boy did they move faster than ever.

    We have a sex crimes investigator, Ed Fleshman, who has been a sex offender registration officer, which is a serious conflict in my opinion.

    We have both a mother and father, stripped of parental rights without a shred of evidence, at a time when the father was still being held in jail without his trial. This is the first time I ever heard this happening. That is completely wrong on multiple levels. The guy wasn’t even convicted yet they managed to strip parental rights. Who does that?

    Due to how bad this case went down, everything needed to be under a microscope.

    Now with these audio recordings surfacing, the microscope is no longer needed. Handcuffs are needed and those who place handcuffs on people need to have the handcuffs placed on them.

    Has Mr. Ranger been sent to CDCR yet? If not, why not? I have not been able to find him. The longer he stays in County Jail, the more he can be kept from communicating with anyone from the outside. Remember, mail is filtered. Lawyers are the only ones who can have private conversations with him, but I believe those will be recorded illegally.

    Ranger was convicted by a Jury of someone’s peers. Because he took this case to trial, sentencing will be easy: He’s got to serve the maximum time under law because he refused to take a deal and proclaim his innocence. That is a fact of how our system works. That’s why I took a plea deal in my own criminal case. I took a plea deal because I was a afraid something like this case would happen to me. I’ve heard it happen before and being 19 many moons ago, I was terrified. As much as I for years regretted taking a deal, looking at this case makes me think I did the right thing under the circumstances. The same type of corruption still exists in Del Norte. This one has to be one of the worst I’ve seen.

    Why is that 40+ year old man not being investigated for sex crimes? Who’s protecting him?

    With these audio recordings withheld from being presented in trial, it is very clear to me that Del Norte County is the wrong place to take this case.

    This case really could take a life of it’s own under the State Attorney GA’s office and it won’t be very good for:

    Detective Ed Fleshman
    Mercy Ranger
    The Current DA
    CPS workers and whoever supervised during the time. (Who was, that, by the way. Did her name by any chance have the initials, SW)?

    Was Bryan jailed under the Wilson Regime, by any chance?

    I said from the beginning that I believed this smells of corruption on every level and it’s right on par with other cases in Del Norte that are black eyes for officials in Del Norte.

    This case could not only be another black eye, it can knock Del Norte County out cold.

    1. Nick, you’re spot on. We’ve all seen numerous cases nationwide where innocent are wrongly convicted for numerous reasons. We’re staring at one of those cases.

      I can’t emphasize enough that the case had no forensic evidence and relied on Mercy’s testimony. The very people who perpetrated the blackmail had ulterior motives. In the normal world, that completely discredits the person’s testimony. But the evidence was never heard. It’s not the jury’s fault and it’s not the prosecution’s fault. Look to the attorney who is hired and paid for by the same county that would get sued if Brian were found not guilty.

      At this point the 40 year old man will probably escape prosecution because of the statute of limitations. There is some indication the state attorney general forwarded the information to local law enforcement and that’s where the trail goes cold. I believe Donna has some details on that part.

      1. Was, thank you.

        I stand corrected that the prosecution has no fault, as of course the Jury.

        This case is a serious reminder at how easy it is to get a difficult to digest conviction, from an an impartial Jury at a trial: It’s done in 3 easy steps.

        ✓ Get accused of a criminal offense
        ✓ Waive right to fair and speedy trial, to prepare for a legal defense, demanding trial.
        ✓ Your assigned public defender withholds key evidence that would vindicate you.

        I think even those 3 easy steps is too mind bending for many people to grasp.

        1. Well, the prosecution carries no fault for advocating for their client. BUT, if the prosecution were aware of the blackmail, and there is some indication they were,they could be at fault for suppressing evidence that might exonerate Bryan. U. S. Supreme Court, Brady v. Maryland. However, in this case Brian’s lawyer made no apparent attempt to introduce this evidence and that’s not the prosecution’s fault. So, as you point out, Bryan’s chance at a fair trial was destroyed by step No. 3.

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