This is Part 18 of my continuing coverage of the legal plight of Bruce Aristeo of Camden, New Jersey that began with a relationship breakup and civil dispute with Jody Raines and subsequently escalated to the Camden County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office. His trial begins on January 11, 2016.
(NOTE: Because I have written numerous articles/commentaries on the Jody Raines – Camden County Prosecutors vs. Bruce Aristeo Legal Saga, there is now an article index I refer new readers to read and catch-up on. I highly recommend you read the articles in chronological order to get the full, complete story with the proper context.)
The origin of this post actually came from my reading the PopeHat legal blog discussing the “perp-walk” of the widely-hated Martin Shkreli (the infamous, arrogant, young ex-CEO who raised a drug from $13.50 to $750 overnight). California lawyer and legal blogger, Ken White, a seasoned criminal defense and free speech attorney, wrote an open letter to the Reuters reporters.
Ken White openly questioned how the Reuters reporters came upon the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time to photograph the arrest of widely-hate Martin Shkreli.
“Who leaked the time and place of the arrest? Was it an FBI agent, a prosecutor, staff, a coordinating local cop? How high up in the government did the decision to leak the arrest go? Did the leak violate the law? Did it violate the defendant’s rights? What was the government’s purpose in leaking the time and place of the arrest? How does this instance fit into the pattern of which arrests get leaked and which don’t? Which nonviolent defendants without records get arrested, and which get summonsed in (or self-surrender through arrangement with their lawyers), and why? What impact does a front-page picture of a defendant in handcuffs have on the jury pool? Is that impact a feature, or a bug, of leaking it? Was the leak intended to inflict extra-judicial humiliation and punishment on the defendant? If the government lies about whether or not it leaked, would you still keep it secret?”
In particular, the questions I highlighted in bold text made me think about Bruce’s many arrests initiated by Jody Raines. How could Bruce be arrested so many times and what were the circumstances? Given that Bruce had no criminal record or history of being accused of physical violence or physical threat, why would Bruce be arrested vs. being “summonsed” (self-surrender)?
Bruce emailed me his response (edited for readability):
The law in NJ, is that… the only time a person is arrested on a domestic violence complaint is when the victim is in imminent danger.
Even when a TRO is issued on the victim’s ex-parte interview with a judge, the TRO is hand-delivered by police. The accused is not arrested.
From 2011 through 2013, I was arrested 5 times!
I was arrested, taken into custody, driven from my county to meet an officer from the other county where the complaint originated, changed vehicles, driven that county’s police department, handcuffed to a bench for at least 3 hours, fingerprinted, photographed, handed the TRO, then driven back home. I was kidnapped!
On 3 occasions, I was arrested because I registered online to attend a business networking event. Those events were up to 3 days in the future.
YES! I WAS ARRESTED 3 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF A BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT AFTER I REGISTERED ONLINE TO ATTEND.
I do not know New Jersey law regarding arrests as it relates to restraining orders but it would seem logical that you would not arrest someone for a civil, non-violent matter where there is no imminent danger. What is disturbing is that most temporary restraining orders (TRO) are served by a deputy sheriff (or equivalent). The accused is not first arrested, then served with the TRO. What happened to Bruce was entirely reversed. And while I do not know the details following these arrest incidents, Bruce apparently made complaints about these strong-arm tactics which likely contributed to the judicial system’s revenge and payback on Bruce.
And while I do not know definitively, it would appear that each arrest stemmed from complaints by Jody Raines to law enforcement about Bruce’s rightful physical presence at business networking events.
This has been a challenging saga to get my head around because of the many stories and incidents over the course of four years that Bruce recounts during our interviews. After 18 articles so far, I continue to uncover more and more ugliness. Police bullying and judicial strong-arm tactics appears to be alive and well in Camden, NJ even for civil, non-violent, white-collar matters.
Follow Defiantly on Twitter at http://twitter.com/defiantlynet or the Defiantly Facebook Fan Page at http://facebook.com/defiantly.net. Subscribe by Email to the Defiantly Blog in the Blue Box in the Upper Right Corner.