Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is Lt. Zachary W. Mullins a Sex Offender?

As we bring you this cautionary tale, we will immediately answer the question posed in today's topic; yes, Zachary Mullins, if guilty of the charges brought against him, is a sex offender and a fugitive from justice. Is the law under which he was indicted fair? Yes, as fair as such laws can be when arbitrary rules and regulations are enforced--that includes the 30 day ruling concerning the Alabama Putative Father Registry.

For those who may not be aware, second degree rape, termed statutory rape in some states, simply decrees that any sexual intercourse involving a person not yet old enough to give legal consent or too mentally impaired to give such consent, is second degree rape. In Alabama, the legal age of consent is 16, and the offender in the first scenario must be at least two years older than the victim. A man who has reached the age of 18 is definitely two years older than his 15 year-old victim.

Mullins is the son of Michael A. and Angela R. Mullins of Garrison Road in Hartselle. He's a graduate of Danville High School and Auburn University. Currently, he's serving as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force at Vandenberg in California, where he lives with his wife Paulette, the daughter of Deborah Baker of Swansboro, Alabama. That is, he lived there with his wife until Alabama Attorney General Troy King had Mullins arrested earlier this week, after a Morgan County Grand Jury indicted him of multiple sex crimes. Specifically, the grand jury indicted the Air Force Officer on two counts of having sex with the 15 year-old while he was 18 years of age and one count involving a sexual encounter with the same victim after Mullins had attained the age of 19. Mullins is currently in a Santa Barbara County jail awaiting extradition.

Perhaps the most disturbing element in this indictment is the fact that Mullins was not the lone target of the grand jury. Jessica Heather DeFoor (pictured), now 34, a former second grade teacher from Decatur in Morgan County, was also indicted for related crimes. While AG King refuses to comment further on the connection between DeFoor and Mullins, DeFoor, who at the time taught at Neel Elementary School in Danville, is charged with enticing the young woman for immoral purposes. Sources who are familiar with the indictment have stated that DeFoor provided Mullins and an unnamed youth with access to a bedroom in her home and alcohol with which to seduce the young woman. If this can be proved, the charges against Mullins may be later upgraded to First Degree Rape.

Both DeFoor and Mullins were indicted in July. DeFoor was arrested in August, but authorities were not able to track Mullins down until this month. He was arrested October 20th, and King expects extradition proceedings to begin by the end of the week. Mullins faces a possible 20 year prison sentence. DeFoor faces a sentence of up to 10 years.

Thanks to the Alabama tenure system, Jessica Heather DeFoor, who has been on leave since the charges were first brought to the attention of the police in 2007, is still drawing a state salary.

What's up with this: If you find working toward what you want too hard, you might want to try selling blue plastic bracelets at Q-Gas. It sounds like a great fundraising idea for a school trip, but to support a child?