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?