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Danny Masterson prosecutor: ‘Scientology is inextricably connected to this case’

[Danny Masterson and Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

Danny Masterson’s criminal defense attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum were back in court yesterday for a hearing that wasn’t listed on the publicly available docket. We learned about it through the court’s media relations department, who told us that Masterson had made yet another attempt to delay the all-important preliminary hearing and was once again denied. The prelim is still scheduled for May 18.

Over the last couple of weeks Masterson’s legal team has thrown a number of different motions at the court, asking for delays or outright dismissals and for the prosecutors to turn over more evidence or to remove redactions from the evidence that’s already been turned over.

We certainly understand why Masterson’s team has stepped up their efforts in recent days. As we explained earlier, the prelim beginning on May 18 will present live testimony from the three victims he’s accused of raping in incidents between 2001 and 2003, with only a limited opportunity for the defense to put on its own case. In a prelim the prosecutor is trying to convince the court, in this case Judge Charlaine Olmedo, that there’s enough cause to merit a trial, so the case presented is more limited than in a full-blown trial. If Masterson is convicted at trial, he’s facing 45 years to life in prison.

We’ve now obtained three of the responses that the DA’s office filed that answer Masterson’s attempts to kill or delay the case, and they provide some revelations that we knew you’d want to see.

First, let’s start off with this strong statement by Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller in response to Mesereau’s claim that Scientology is “irrelevant” to the case.

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Just to remind those just joining us, Danny Masterson grew up in Scientology and has been one of its pampered celebrities nearly his entire adult life, and he’s accused of raping three women who were each Scientologists at the time of the incidents, rapes that the women say they were pressured not to report to the police by the Church of Scientology.

So yes, Scientology is very much inextricably intertwined in this case, as we’ve been telling you since we first broke news of the investigation of Masterson four years ago.

The next item we found in Mueller’s responses was truly eye-opening, and by rights it should have some effect on the civil lawsuit filed by these women that has been derailed by Judge Steven Kleifield’s ruling that the women should instead submit to Scientology’s internal “religious arbitration.” In that lawsuit the three women plus two other plaintiffs are suing Masterson and the Church of Scientology not for rape but for the harassment they say they went through since coming forward to the LAPD in 2016. They’re alleging that they have been under constant surveillance, that their phones have been hacked, their cars broken into, their pets poisoned, and even a house set on fire.

Masterson and the church have called those claims baseless, and Judge Kleifield denied the plaintiffs the right to sue. The women are currently petitioning the California Supreme Court, asking it to step in and review Kleifield’s ruling.

In the criminal case, Masterson’s lawyers have asked that LAPD video surveillance of the homes of two victims be turned over.

But Mueller, in his response, calls this a “fishing expedition” by Masterson, and then drops the bombshell that the LAPD can’t turn over the surveillance footage because it’s an ongoing criminal investigation.

 

Our sources have in the past told us that there is a great deal of evidence of the harassment of these women, and that individual perpetrators of that harassment and surveillance have been identified. But this is the first time we’ve seen confirmation that the LAPD is treating this as a criminal probe. Will more people beyond Danny Masterson face charges for the victimization of these women?

And there’s more. We’ve now learned that Masterson’s team tried to dismiss the entire criminal rape case because a 2004 LAPD file had gone missing.

If you remember, the woman we’re referring to as Victim B, who is also known as Jane Doe #1 in both the criminal case and civil lawsuit, alleges she was raped by Masterson on April 25, 2003. Over the objections of the Church of Scientology, she went to the LAPD in June 2004. Scientology then had its members file affidavits calling Jane Doe 1 a liar, and the case was closed. When Jane Doe 1 was joined by two other women and her case was reopened in 2016, the police department discovered that her 2004 file had mysteriously vanished.

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Masterson wanted the case thrown out because of it, saying that the file might contain exculpatory information that could help his defense. But Mueller explained to the court that although the LAPD might have lost its file, the copy of the file it had provided the DA’s office in 2004 was still intact, and Mueller had already provided it, with redactions, to Masterson’s attorneys.

Masterson also complained about a missing audio recording of the March 10, 2017 interview of a particular witness, an actor named Jimmy Debello who is close to Masterson. We say close because if you remember a video we posted that was recorded last Thanksgiving by Masterson’s sister-in-law, Chynna Phillips Baldwin, which she has taken down from YouTube, you could actually see Debello lurking in the background as Chynna interviewed her sister, Danny’s wife Bijou Phillips, who called Danny a “Strong Island” type with women.

 

[Bijou, with family friend Jimmy Debello in the background]

 
According to Mueller’s response, Masterson argued that the criminal case against him should be thrown out because the LAPD misplaced a copy of the audio recording of its interview with Debello. But Mueller pointed at notes of the interview, which show that Debello said he had “no recollection” of the April 2003 incident.

“It’s hard to imagine what, if any, additional information Debello would have provided on the recorded interview since he purportedly has ‘no recollection’ of the incident. Not surprisingly, the defendant fails to make any credible showing in his motion of how this missing recording is material and exculpatory,” Mueller argues, and later adds that when it comes to trial, Masterson’s attorneys will be free to have both Debello and the LAPD detective that interviewed him give testimony to what was said in the 2017 interview.

We don’t know whether Debello will end up playing much of a part in this case, but this glimpse of his involvement in these court papers is fascinating, and shows how much work has gone into this investigation over four years. At one point, Mueller spells out how much evidence has been turned over.

 

 
And we wanted to make one more point about Mueller’s responses. If you remember, after a hearing last week we pointed out that Tom Mesereau has been bellyaching for months about press interest in this case, only to then try to manipulate the media by leaking a smeary court document that made numerous trashy allegations about the women accusing Masterson, and also attacking Leah Remini, claiming that she had put the women up to filing reports against him. (The women actually filed their reports with the LAPD before reaching out to Remini.)

In one of his responses, Mueller took a fairly unsubtle swipe at Mesereau’s hypocrisy.

 

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While Mesereau may have won a few days of tabloid coverage on the attacks on Leah Remini, his motions have been repeatedly denied by Judge Olmedo. And just yesterday, as we mentioned, it happened again.

The prelim, and the testimony of three women who say they were violently raped by Danny Masterson, is still set for May 18.

 
SOME OF OUR PAST REPORTING ON THE MASTERSON CASE

March 3, 2017: LAPD probing Scientology and Danny Masterson for multiple rapes, cover-up
March 8, 2017: Danny Masterson: Victim C gets support from a veteran actress
March 11, 2017: Scientology made Danny Masterson’s Victim B search past lives to explain being raped
May 9, 2017: Masterson hires Michael Jackson criminal defense attorney Tom Mesereau in rape probe
Nov 2, 2017: Read the threatening letter Danny Masterson’s attorney Marty Singer sent a victim’s husband
Nov 26, 2017: EXCLUSIVE: Scientology interrogated Danny Masterson and accuser, didn’t notify LAPD
Feb 14, 2018: PROSECUTORS PREPARE CHARGES CARRYING LIFE SENTENCE FOR DANNY MASTERSON
Apr 27, 2018: Strange days for a woman accusing Danny Masterson of rape — and for her rocker husband

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July 8, 2018: Masterson witness fears for safety as investigation drags on and on
Nov 30, 2018: LEAH REMINI: Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey, do your job already
Aug 14, 2019: RAPE ACCUSERS SUE DANNY MASTERSON, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY, AND ITS LEADER
Jan 22, 2020: Cedric Bixler-Zavala blames Scientology for poisoned dog he had to put down yesterday
Feb 3, 2020: Here’s Scientology actor Danny Masterson’s legal response to his rape accusers
Feb 10, 2020: Another dog poisoned: Bobette Riales says harassment worse since suing Scientology
Feb 26, 2020: SEVENTH victim comes forward to LAPD accusing Scientology actor Danny Masterson
Feb 29, 2020: Amended complaint filed against Danny Masterson with new stalking allegations
March 14, 2020: Danny Masterson’s victims speak out in sworn documents in lawsuit against Scientology
May 4, 2020: Masterson: Drop me from Scientology lawsuit if the ‘Jane Does’ won’t name themselves
June 17, 2020: SCIENTOLOGY CELEB DANNY MASTERSON CHARGED ON MULTIPLE RAPE ALLEGATIONS
June 19, 2020: Records show that Danny Masterson is a woeful Scientologist — would he turn on the church?
June 23: 2020: The key thing about Danny Masterson’s ‘DJ Donkey Punch’ nick is why he stopped using it
Sept 30, 2020: Could Danny Masterson’s odd legal fight over his Hollywood house endanger his freedom?
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Oct 12, 2020: Bijou Phillips on her husband Danny Masterson: A macho ‘Strong Island’ guy
Oct 16, 2020: Danny Masterson ‘accidentally’ outs Jane Doe accuser after judge told him not to
Dec 1, 2020: If the feds are sniffing around, they might look at Danny Masterson’s besties
Dec 4, 2020: WHOA! Scientology to Judge Kleifield: Wrecking human lives IS our ‘commerce’
Dec 18, 2020: Jane Doe #1’s own attorneys flubbed and ID’d her and her IP address in court documents
Dec 24, 2020: Letter shows Scientology gave Jane Doe #1 permission to sue Danny Masterson in 2004
Dec 31, 2020: MASTERSON ACCUSERS DENIED RIGHT TO TRIAL, FORCED TO ‘RELIGIOUS ARBITRATION’
Jan 2, 2021: Worst part in the Scientology ‘arbitration’ ruling? Danny Masterson can participate.
Feb 24, 2021: MASTERSON ACCUSERS PETITION APPELLATE COURT: Seeking to overturn ‘arbitration’ ruling
Mar 9, 2021: PETITION DENIED: Danny Masterson accusers can’t skip Scientology arbitration, court says
Mar 23, 2021: Danny Masterson accusers take Scientology ‘arbitration’ to California Supreme Court
Apr 22, 2021: Why Danny Masterson’s attacks on Leah Remini aren’t helping him in court

 
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David Miscavige turns 61

Hey, let us know what birthday greetings you have for C.O.B. as he reaches 61.

 

 
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Source Code

“We’ve had a little slowdown here recently on research the last six, seven days — I managed to get the show back on the road again — mostly due to the nonsense going on in Australia. The general situation with regard to that is they’re not in any danger or anything like that, they’re just being cross-advised and being generally upset. The government of Australia….Well, these little boys have an opposition there that are quite red and they all of a sudden decided under a fellow of the name of Galbatty to investigate Scientology on account of how bad it all was, you see? And this is the message I want to get across to you, not the state of Australia. An organization starts slipping, they stop following through standard policies, they are not on the ball here and they individuate there and they goof up someplace else. And then you all of a sudden start having trouble in their vicinity and it finally swells up to something like this inquiry you see, and that sort of thing. Just everybody has to some degree or another taken his finger off of his number and goofed up. You get the idea? In this particular case, why, they ran some jerk down there who they knew was a security risk. He couldn’t pass an E-Meter test if you’d held a gun to his head. He is just a complete bum. So they go ahead and give him high-level processing. Name is Werne. And they give this fellow a bunch of high-level processing and restimulate two or three wrong goals on him one way or the other so he goes into a complete spin. And I think he’d been in psychiatric treatment and he went back under psychiatric treatment, and then he runs over and sees Galbatty to get Galbatty to pass legislation so as to cure his GPMs and it just all went to smoke. And it had never even occurred to anybody down in Melbourne simply to handle Werne, refund his money and straighten him up. When they did refund his money, they didn’t even require him to sign a release. So they went and refunded his money; he went over to the court the same afternoon and filed a suit for a hundred and sixty thousand pounds. I mean, it takes genius, see? It just takes goof up after goof up.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 30, 1964

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“Customs needs handling in these ports. Fully. And gently. Anyone trying to put things aboard before full clearance can really mess a port up. If you have anything to do with Customs or even think about taking anything ashore or bringing anything on the ship, see the Ships Rep first! Aboard, you are not in the country. When you go through the gate you are in the country. When you come through the gate to come aboard you are leaving the country. This is true even when the ship is lying alongside a berth. So don’t violate or stir up customs officials. They are at the gate. When you go through that gate things you are carrying or escorting are entering or leaving the country. They lock up ‘smugglers’ for 40 years on bread and water and throw the key away.” — The Commodore, April 30, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“What if Metteya is an AI/Organic Artificial Intelligence interface stationed at Galactic Central. Anything that can be imagined can be and IS PROGRAMMED including multiple viewpoints and timelines. Anything that persists must contain a lie in order to persist, otherwise it would unravel and vanish. LRH is a very clear and distinct knowingness ‘outside’ all. A person just like you or me. We know from the history of religion that Avatars are used as exactly that. Programmed Consciousness Constructs. This idea of Metteya originating multiple viewpoints and timelines as a complex system of vias is quite possibly just that. LRH is a real person. There is only one of him, just like you or me. The item ‘Me’ rule applies.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1998: The Florida Times Union reported that the town of Orange Park has revoked a proclamation honoring the anniversary of Dianetics. “Mayor Monty Crook pulled the proclamation from the consent agenda Tuesday night. Later, Crook said he didn’t understand what it meant. ‘If we’re going to attach our name to it, then we ought to know more about it,’ he said. The proclamation would have established May as Dianetics Month and urged ‘all citizens to join in acknowledging the humanitarian work of our Dianetists and congratulate them on this anniversary of the pioneering techniques which frees lives from `the shadows which darken’ and builds a brighter future for ourselves, our children and generations of the future.’ Town Clerk Joyce Bryant said anyone can ask the town for a proclamation. She said she received a letter from New York asking the town to proclaim May as Dianetics Month. ‘We do it as a courtesy,’ she said, noting that she was unaware of what Dianetics was about. ‘It doesn’t mean we support it.’ Town Attorney Ed Rich said a proclamation is purely ceremonial and has no real significance.”

 
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Random Howdy

“Scientologists have zero loyalty to anything except Ron and the ‘Tech.’ The concepts of country and patriotism are wog nonsense to them. They are committed to a world wide jihad against all countries and nations. Real Scientologists don’t even feel any loyalty to their family members, let alone their country.”

 
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Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Preliminary hearing set for May 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for June 18.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration. June 7: Status conference.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.

 
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SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

 
Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige is 60 today, and we have presents
[TWO years ago] Questions for Scientologist Elisabeth Moss — from former Scientologists
[THREE years ago] David Miscavige turns 58 today, and we’re celebrating with tales of birthdays past
[FOUR years ago] As former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca awaits sentencing, Scientology sticks by its man
[FIVE years ago] A STAR IS BORN: Scientology attorney Monique Yingling steals the spotlight on ’20/20′
[SIX years ago] As Scientology crumbles, read the dreams its members are still chasing
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige turns 54 today — Hip, hip, hooray!
[EIGHT years ago] The Scientology Method: Drill, Baby, Drill!

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,287 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,791 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,311 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,331 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,222 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,529 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,397 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,171 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,501 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,975 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,291 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,857 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,776 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,944 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,525 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,786 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,824 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,537 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,062 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 417 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,592 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,143 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,292 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,612 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,467 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,586 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,942 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,245 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,351 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,753 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,625 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,208 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,703 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,957 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,066 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 30, 2021 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

 

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