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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning

"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Geisel Redux

The blackout defense: You knew the Geisel case was coming to this! After her indictment by a grand jury last Friday, Geisel's lawyer, Thomas Kinsella, hinted at yet another twist in the ongoing series of trial-balloon-defenses. First, it was strictly "blame the booze." Then it was blackmail. And now it's that she doesn't remember the sex and/or she was physically coerced into it?!?:

Attorney Donald Kinsella says his client is an alcoholic who needs help, not jail time.

He said Geisel claims she was forced to have sex with the 16-year-old on the first occasion and witnesses testified before the grand jury about her bruises.

She said she doesn't remember the other incidents.

"She's not a sex offender," Kinsella said. "She has an alcohol problem."
Emphasis mine. Holy crap! Why the hell is the TU burying this paragraph - it's got to be the lead! Claims of physical coercion...but wait, didn't Kinsella explicitly deny that back in August, hinting at blackmail and away from physical coercion? Oh well, it's not like her defense has ever been consistent!

Ok, to sum up, Geisel's defense now looks something like this:

1) I have a drinking problem which
2) Led me to be drinking during school and on field trips and that
3) some students found out about my problem and blackmailed me to
4) buy them booze, which i reluctantly did, but then they
5) escalated the blackmail to sexual activity, which i consented to with
6) the students who were 17 (legal), but then they continued
7) the blackmail and physically forced me(?) to have sex with a 16-year old,
8) at which point I had totally lost it and was drinking even more, and thus
9) I don't even remember the other sexual incidents, including
10) having sex in the CBA football field's annoucing booth. So
11) therefore I'm not a criminal, just an alcoholic.

Wow. Am I missing anything? What a ridiculous leap-of-faith! Are we really supposed to buy this? I just don't see how you can mesh all of Kinsella's statements and not come to this accumulated defense. It's like they triangulated in on a story - no matter how implausible - that could proclaim total innocence. Is there any other possible way for the defense to explain away all of this case? Hey - juries believe a lot of things!

P.S. Isn't this a risky strategy? If the jury doesn't buy it, don't they come down a lot harder on you for making up such wild stuff? Just asking!

P.P.S. I think Soares managed to keep his foot out of his mouth in the latest news cycle - he simply disputed Kinsella's claims:

"The law states that someone under the age of 17 cannot legally consent to engage in sex with an adult," Soares said. "We see the case as that of a person who should have known better."
The students were not charged with crimes because nothing indicates they exerted force or coercion, Soares said.
Good job, David. And thanks for getting an indictment so that we can get this thing to a public courthouse!

P.P.P.S Here's a recap of every major and semi-major previous Geisel post I've done. Enjoy:

August 1 - The New York Post takes this thing national.
August 3 - But your honor, I was drunk.
August 4 - No sex tape yet.
August 8 - The TU's disasterous coverage of Geisel.
August 9 - Here's come the phantom journalist.
August 11 - New twists: field trips and blackmail.
August 12 - Soares takes on the bloggers.
August 22 - Soares puts his foot back in his mouth.
August 19 - Geisel gets arrested again.
September 5 - Geisel, Soares, witnesses.
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