Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – June 19, 2017 – Before the parade of witnesses took their turns, there was a discussion with Juror #9.  He was honest enough to tell the Judge that a co-worker approached him and said to “pin him to the wall,” referring to Bryan Ranger’s guilt.  He told her he cannot talk about it and left. The Judge wanted assurances from Juror #9 that he had no concerns about the verdict and how it might affect his relationships.  Juror #9 assured both sides he can continue to be fair.

Next up: Laurie Bagg who lives in Vacaville.

In 2008, she went shopping with her mother-in-law and 1 year old baby at Target.  She witnessed a big family that came into the store about the same time. .  She didn’t like seeing the Dad  not allowing his son to get a drink of water at the fountain. Then says she next saw him pull  the hair of his little girl standing up in the shopping cart, then witnessed him slapping the little red-headed girl. Clarifications were made about how far away she was. Was Bryan facing her or away from her?  She said he was standing sideways and she could tell he was angry.  She then went out, waited for them to get into their van, took down their license plate number and called the police. No police record of charges ever being brought against Bryan Ranger were discussed in court. It’s safe to conclude there were no charges. But here’s why I think we heard about this incident.  In 2014, 6 years later,  Heather Nelson, Investigator for the Department Of Justice, went to Mrs. Bagg and showed her pictures of Bryan Ranger and only pictures of Bryan Ranger, as pointed out by the defense attorney, William Cater. Could it be that in 2014, when the prosecution then knew about Mercy’s confession of sex with Marc Nash from the time she was 14 until she was 16 in conjunction with 2 of the Ranger children wanting to recant motivated them to dig deeper into their investigation to find any dirt they could on Bryan Ranger?

Skipping over the testimony of the 10 year old boy,  let’s go directly to the testimony of Sgt. Ed Fleshman from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office (DNSO). He’s been in law enforcement for a total of 22 years.  8 years with Crescent City Police and the rest of with DNSO. He taught Aikido for years, Japanese martial arts.  The dojo was located behind Parkway Antiques across from Parkway Feed. He had two, three or four of the Ranger kids in his class and their father would bring them and stay.

When Mercy attended Sunset High School, Fleshman was called in to talk to the principal. It was 2012, the allegations were of abuse and no allegations of sexual misconduct were made at that time.  Within a month he closed the investigation.

At some point, one of Mercy’s brothers claimed he was burnt by the toaster and said his father was to blame.  Bryan was arrested.  Later the boy admitted he was lying and so those charges were withdrawn and Bryan was released from jail.

Fleshman mentioned speaking with the children on various occasions. One time, he was accompanied by a woman named, Liz, who left the room in order to give Mercy’s little brother, around 6 years old at the time, the freedom to speak without being so shy because of  her presence. An audio tape was played.

Having lived through the McMartin Preschool sex abuse scandal of the 1980’s, I’ve VERY LEARY of believing children’s testimony especially when they may have been influenced by an older sibling, as in the case of Mercy, other social workers, or foster/adoptive parents.  Once the children were out of the Ranger household, there is no telling how much pressure was applied to those siblings.

Back to Fleshman. While the child abuse case was closed, later the sexual abuse case was opened.  He met with Mercy multiple times.  Her description with her father of having sexual intercourse was described as,…. then he read from his file notes, “waking up from being blacked out after Bryan struck her, and bleeding vaginally.”   However, according to his file notes, two of Mercy’s sister’s told him that Mercy was lying and didn’t witness anything of a sexual nature with Mercy and their father. One of Mercy’s sister’s said she was lying because she wanted to go live with Sasha Upton.  OK, this is the problem I have with that testimony.  Has this occurred to you?  If she was blacked out, how did she know she had sexual intercourse with her father? Could she have had her period?  Did she run to the cops and report rape at that time?  If not, why not?  If her father had sex with her, why was she not in an ER or with a medical doctor getting examined? Did he tie her down? Did he have a gun at her head?  It appears that every time her father dropped his pants with his wife, he got his wife pregnant?  Did Mercy ever get pregnant? Did this sexual intercourse incident with her father happen before or after her sexual intercourse with Marc Nash? Was she a virgin with Marc Nash?

What I am getting at is that the revelations so far throughout this trial about Mercy’s recollections of sexual misconduct or sexual intercourse with her father are so sketchy and filled with “dreams” or “memories at age 4” in conjunction with a lack of medical attention but charged with innuendo as to make  even Saint Catherine shake her head.

The CAST interviews were video taped interviews taken in Eureka, California.  Fleshman stated he was present and watched them through  a one-way mirror. Several were conducted on March 6, 2012.  Then again a year later.  The case was re-opened after dependency hearings. Dependency hearings wherein Mercy would shake and shiver, well…bottom line… if what I witness that first day of her testimony was any indication of what she pulled in the dependency hearings, then no wonder Judge Follett terminated parental rights. EXCEPT Judge Follett should have known with his vast experience that the evidence was flimsy to a fault! Was there something else going on with Judge Follett?

SART Exams stands for Sexual Assault Response Team:

A SART exam is usually done when rape or sexual abuse occurs.

Question by Attorney William Cater to Sgt Fleshman:  Was a SART exam done on any of the Ranger children?

Answer:  NO.

Question: Did you request one?

Answer:  NO, we didn’t.

Of course, I couldn’t ask this but here’s my question if I could have asked it:  Why the hell not?

Here’s the problem I have with Ed Fleshman.  When people in this town starting talking to me about “dirty cops,” his name was mentioned repeatedly. Here are just four:

  1.  There was Scott and Millie Ratzloff.  Scott was the former pastor at Lighthouse Community Church.  Millie ran a number of community programs out of the Church gym.  They moved back to Crescent City around the time I moved here in 2007.  Ed Fleshman was part of the group that wanted Scott out of the ministry.  Scott was arrested then released concerning a $400 power bill. His health took a nosedive. He and Millie moved to Arkansas where he is now Pastor of Oden First Baptist Church.
  2. The raid on Dave Egan’s house described in the series called, “The BlackHawk Pistol Story.”  On a warrant to seek a “stolen” $300 Blackhawk Pistol which turns out was not stolen, everything of value was taken by DNSO and to this date 52 of his firearms have still not been returned. Fleshman was part of that raid. The DA at the time was Jon Alexander.  All charges against Egan were dropped.
  3. Complaints by parents of children taken out of class and interviewed without benefit of another adult present besides the Ranger case. Fears that Fleshman may have influenced them unduly. One parent wishes to remain anonymous since he still lives and works in this town.  Fears of retaliation are ever present.
  4. Complaints by a “registered sex offender” of being treated like a criminal in this town by Fleshman even though he served his time and hadn’t had a blemish on his record since.  He is currently involved with a Sacramento attorney to revise the laws concerning “registered sex offenders” to get a tiered program whereby those without any further incidents could be removed from the sex offender list after so many years.

The last witness of the day, JUDY RANGER.

I’ll cover that in Part 2 of Day 4  as it’s time to get ready for DAY 5 of the Bryan Ranger “Sex Abuse” Trial. This case is open to the public. I encourage you to attend to see how our Justice System works.

3 thoughts on “Day 4: Bryan Ranger “Sex Abuse” Trial – Part 1”
  1. I would like to disclose something. When I first heard Fleshmen was the detective for sexual assault and homicide, I had him mixed up with someone else and said…HELL NO… I am here today to disclose that the ED FLESHMEN I saw during the trial is HONEST, HAS INTEGRITY, AND FORTITUDE….I got him mixed up with a different fleshmen..AND I APOLOGIZE AND AM SORRY FOR THAT….

    I knew Ed years ago before he got into law enforcement, in fact we were in a college play years ago…It was Charlie brown christmas. I had not remembered his name and always called him burgermister…. It wasn’t until this trial I found out who he was…

    with that said, Regan is absolutely correct. Burgermister would be the first person to respond if you needed help. Egan lost his case cause he was guilty and Ranger will lose this case because he is a child molester, family abuser all in the name of religion….Ranger will burn in hell for Christ as his crutch to abuse his whole family….and will die in prison…may God have mercy on his soul…

  2. My goodness, when you don’t like someone you sure let people know don’t you. It’s no wonder that this community is always complaining how the police are no help, would you be willing to put your life on the line so someone could dissect your every move?
    I personally know Mr.Fleshman and his entire family. His father was a Pastor here from 1983-2014 when he retired. Mr.Fleshman has been a dedicated member of local Law Enforcement since 1995 long before you graced us with your presence (so I believe he knows and understands this community a little more than you do) He was the lead detective for the sex crimes division for many of those years.
    Let me address the Ratzloff issue: I knew Mr. Ratzloff and he was a thief and a liar. He stole from a member of my own family. Millie was forced to leave the Pregnancy Care Center for unsavory reasons. To quote a famous politician “fact check”. When he ‘took over’ Oceanview Baptist Church, formally pastored by the deceased Darryl Reed, he changed the name and removed all signs of what was considered a lovely family neighborhood church. The cross was removed, the name was changed to community center and so on. The community programs they ran out of the church gym were to benefit themselves. Mr. Ratzloff gave several different versions of his past and how he wound up here in Crescent City to which I personally heard from his lips to my ears. So if he was accused of any wrong doing and Mr. Fleshman did his job as directed then kudos to him for removing leaches from our community.
    As for the Egan raid and speaking with children in class, I know nothing so I will say nothing.
    Now the last one, I know nothing about it other than I really am concerned about someone (you) who would support a ‘registered sex offender’ for complaining he was being treated like a criminal. HE IS A CRIMINAL thus the title “REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER”! Mr. Fleshman is doing his job by protecting the children of this community and making sure that the low life offenders are registering as they are required by law so that God forbid, if any of our precious citizens are violated then law enforcement could track down the villain. You see Mr. Fleshman does not repeat what goes on with his job and believes in privacy for victims and criminals alike. He speaks about cases only when necessary, such as hearings, trials and the like. What I have stated about the Ratzloff’s is from my personal dealings with them. As for the testimony of the Ranger child in question, he is going to say whatever he needs to say for the best interest of self. Read your own commentaries, he has proven that by your own words.
    I will tell you this Ms. Westfall, regardless of what you say about him and no matter how hard you try and crucify him, I can guarantee that if you should ever need this man to come to your rescue because you have been victimized, he will be there.

    1. I have this strange feeling that Ed Fleshman will be investigated by the CA DOJ and possibly even by the FBI. Now why would I have that awfully strange feeling?

      If that were to happen, would you begin to question everything? I know I would.

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