Why was Ms. Carlton placed on Harford County's Ten Most Wanted List for the misdemeanor and why were US Marshalls sent to apprehend her and commence extradition proceedings, at very great time and expense, for such a minor crime?
Valerie Carlton is a forty-two-year-old Jewish woman who was falsely indicted on 28 felony charges in Harford County, Maryland, in May 2009. Ms. Carlton was held on $10,000,000 bail in the Harford County Detention Center in solitary confinement for over 13 months. Eventually all 28 felony charges were dropped for lack of evidence.The false charges, which included child sexual abuse, stemmed from the unsubstantiated allegations of her ex-husband who was seeking to terminate her visitation, and all parental rights, with her six-year-old daughter. Court records document the ex-husband's previous attempts to interfere with and prevent the mother's visitation. He had won custody after the mother had obtained a restraining order against him for spousal abuse, but a new lawyer and a speedy appeal turned the tables and he made allegations against the mother which were accepted by the Court without proof.Tellingly, both the search warrant and the charging document for the criminal charges against Ms. Carlton stated that she was an Orthodox Jew who practiced Jewish customs with her daughter whenever they were together. It appears that the father objected to this and that it was considered improper behavior on the mother's part.The false arrest and imprisonment were facilitated by Mr. Carlton's family's and extended family's close ties with the Harford County Sheriff's Office and senior staff members employed in the Harford County Circuit Court, including senior judges.
Mr. Carlton, a Southern Baptist Christian from a devout evangelical family, turned against his wife when she first voiced objections to raising their child strictly by the New Testament. A history of domestic violence began when Ms. Carlton decided to return to her Jewish roots and introduce Jewish observance and practice into her daughter's life (such as lighting Sabbath candles).Mr. Carlton made it clear in recorded statements that he intends for his daughter never to see her mother again, or have any contact with her, and that he is only comfortable when the mother, an innocent woman, is incarcerated. To this end, he has received overwhelming support of a county-wide Christian majority as well as direct intervention from church members who hold public office, especially in the Sheriff's Department.
These "interventions" included the sanctioning of physical and mental abuse and torture of Ms. Carlton by jail personnel as documented by affidavits of witnesses and hospital records. The abuses included the use of a "restraint chair" (defined by Amnesty International as a form of torture). The restraint chair was used after prosecutors first interrogated her, then broke the news to her of the negligent death of her baby son*, who had been removed from her, his nursing mother, only four days after birth and just before her arrest on the false charges. For the first time in 20 years, the Chaplain was not permitted to do his appointed work of informing prisoners of a death in the family. The prosecutor's office instructed the Chaplain to step down and allow them to inform her of the death because they wanted to "see her reactions". They were intent on getting her to plead to the false charges so as to excise her permanently from her daughter's life. To that purpose, the more they could hurt and frighten her, the more likely she would plead "insane" to be able to escape their abuse.Ms. Carlton had been placed in solitary, allegedly to protect her from other inmates, who the guards knew would beat her up (as they in fact did) based on the heinous, concocted allegations broadcast throughout the jail population by prosecutors and guards that she had molested little girls. Kept outside the general prison population, in isolation where no one could see her, she also could be more easily persecuted, harassed and abused on a daily basis.A nationally recognized independent forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Mark J. Mills, strongly recommended in writing that Ms. Carlton not be kept in the Harford County Detention Center (after a brief hospitalization) in view of the abuse that she had suffered there. This written recommendation was provided to the Governor of Maryland by Dr. Leora Rosen, Ms. Carlton's civil rights advocate, who had just asked the Office of the State Prosecutor to open an investigation into Ms. Carlton's treatment in the jail. While the Governor was aware of Dr. Mills' concerns, no action was taken to prevent Ms. Carlton from being returned to the jail. Indeed, the complaints were referred back to the Sheriff's Office in charge of the Detention Center so that, effectively, the Sheriff was given the privilege of investigating his own department for signs of misconduct. Predictably, he found none.
About 10 months into her confinement in Harford County, when it became clear to the State's Attorney that the case could not go to trial and that Ms. Carlton would have to soon be set free, an "altercation" occurred that was captured on video. Although the Harford County Sheriff claims that Ms. Carlton assaulted a corrections officer, th enhanced forensic video of the incident shows the officer confronting the prisoner, pummeling her, throwing her on the floor and bashing her head three times into a concrete wall. Ms. Carlton was treated for her injuries at the Detention Center itself, rather than a local hospital, the records of which have been withheld from Ms. Carlton. The officer was unscathed but claimed that he had been stabbed, and apparently took off work.
In connection with the "assault", Ms. Carlton was first falsely indicted by County officials for first degree assault for attacking the officer with a "knife". That charge was withdrawn since she only had a plastic flexible pen, issued by the jail to inmates, which had been wrapped in her hand with saran wrap because she could not hold a pen to write due to wrist injuries inflicted on her with the handcuffs. She was also charged with conspiracy against the government, second degree assault and possession of contraband for the saran wrap. Four months later all charges were dropped except for the two misdemeanor charges of second degree assault and contraband.At the time she was charged, she was denied the opportunity to call her lawyer. The jail arbitrarily assigned her a public defender against her will and they canceled her bail, which had gradually been reduced to $275,000 as charges were dropped, but nevertheless a sum which they knew she was unable to secure by any means. (Since she qualified for a public defender, they knew she had no money.)Ms. Carlton was released on June 30, 2010, but warned by prison staff and correction officers that she would be rearrested soon. Fearing for her life and safety, Ms. Carlton fled the State of Maryland to New York, not returning for the trial on the assault charge based on legitimate fears of further officially-sanctioned abuse and even death. Prior to her flight, she received two collect calls from inmates of the jail, carrying similar warnings, advising her that jail officials were openly speaking about her imminent return to jail, whereupon she would be drugged and "dealt with."The day that Ms. Carlton was strapped into the torture chair, another prisoner being held for "trespassing" was killed in the jail (tasered to death, although he had no record of violence and was an honorably discharged veteran), which led to a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff's office. The Harford County Detention Center has had a number of unexplained deaths of inmates documented over the last two decades, including the one that occurred by taser while Ms. Carlton was incarcerated. This was the second "taser" death occurring within one year. After the "assault," Ms. Carlton was always accompanied by taser-armed guards, openly hostile and threatening towards her.The Harford County Detention Center is a private, for-profit jail run by the Sheriff's Office.
Ten months ago, Ms. Carlton's mother applied for visitation with her granddaughter. Recently, however, the grandmother retained counsel to assist her. Afraid that there might be contact between mother and daughter (Ms. Carlton has been rendered unable to communicate with her daughter for two-and-a-half years) it appears that Mr. Carlton prevailed upon the Sheriff's office to have his ex-wife arrested in New York and brought back to Harford County to face trial on the "assault" charges. It is unusual for US Marshalls to be sent to arrest someone in another state for a misdemeanor.Within an hour of her arrest, Mr. Carlton, the hostile ex-husband, was informed by the Harford County Sheriff that his ex-wife had been apprehended in New York and jailed to face extradition. He then immediately consented to the grandmother's visitation, advising her lawyer that, now that Valerie was apprehended, he was comfortable with the visit. The next morning he triumphantly boasted on his Facebook page:
"THEY GOT HER!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :)"
Ms. Carlton faces a potential sentence of up to ten years for (1) a beating that was administered by a jail guard to HER, (2) in a jail where the State had no legal right to hold her, (3) where she was tortured and abused, and (4) where her baby son, wrongfully removed from her, ultimately perished through the County's malfeasance. Despite the brutality of Valerie Carlton's treatment by his office to date, no state agency has really investigated the problem and the Sheriff of Harford County now wants to extradite Ms. Carlton from New York to Maryland. There, they will subject her to more barbaric treatment, including the certainty of further solitary confinement, for her own "protection" from other inmates, as well as the possibility of another "accidental" taser death. This is all being done in furtherance of a vindictive ex-spouse's scheme to destroy the mother of his child.
In short, custody was wrongfully wrested from Ms. Carlton, through collusion by Mr. Carlton with Maryland courts and County officials. After custody was allowed to be improperly removed from the mother, the father and Maryland authorities began to systematically work on eliminating her visitation and full parental rights , by any means necessary, culminating with this proceeding. Her only "crime" is trying to love and protect her little girl from actual abuse by others, which Ms. Carlton was desperately trying to address through proper agencies and the judicial process.The ex-husband, perpetrating what amounts to a hate crime, with the assistance of County officials actively engaged in persecution and torture, are intent on making sure that she never sees or speaks to her daughter ever again, by any means necessary.The hearing on the extradition matter is set for November 10 th at 9:30 AM in the Rockland County Court in New City, New York.
See below for the video of the "assault" on the correction officer. Please note that the officer approaches her very deliberately, the assault begins, and then a throng of back-up officers all arrive at precisely the same time to "assist" the "assaulted" officer. This event is meant to keep Ms. Carlton from gaining her liberty and returning to her daughter's life.
The videos of the "assault" on the correction officer:
Valerie Carlton in her own words:
- Why was Ms. Carlton arrested on 28 very serious charges which were later all dropped?
- Why was she not permitted to call her own lawyer when the "assault" occurred?
- Why is Harford County trying to extradite a person from New York for a misdemeanor?
- Why was Ms. Carlton listed as #3 on Harford County's 10 Most Wanted List for a misdemeanor charge?
- Why was Mr. Carlton immediately notified of his ex-wife's capture by US Marshalls?