Broward Circuit Judge John Bowman called 911 from his home last month, explaining that his ex-foster son, Charles Harper, 18, was outside the house making calls from a fake number. This resulted in Harper's arrest on charges of stalking
. Last week, Harper came forward with allegations of sexual abuse
by the judge... and now Harper is in jail for an apparent violation of his house arrest while the state makes up its mind on whether to charge him. It's a messy situation.
The dispatcher who took the 911 call on December 20 indicated that Bowman identified himself as a circuit court judge toward the end of the call. Harper has claimed that Bowman was trying to use his position to influence the arrest and has said he had reservations about going to police because "they're working for the judge." (Harper did file a police report on Monday.)
After the jump: See the 911 call log, find out why Harper went to jail on Tuesday, and meet his new state-assigned lawyer, a DUI attorney.
Harper has finally been assigned a lawyer after the public defender's office withdrew itself from the case
out of a fear of antagonizing Judge Bowman.
The new lawyer is William DiRenzo, a partner at Parks & Braxton who specializes in DUI cases. Here's an excerpt from his biography on the Google-friendly florida-dui-lawyers-attorneys.com
Mr. Direnzo, has lectured and taught lawyers on the various ways to attack the breath machine through the use of expert witnesses. In addition, he has instructed many of the DUI officers on topics ranging from how to properly administer field sobriety exercises, search and seizure issues, and matters concerning the breath test. Mr. Direnzo has had countless DUI jury trials and handled hundreds of motions to dismiss and suppress evidence. Mr. Direnzo was also a lead prosecutor in the felony division where his jury trials ranged from drug charges to attempted murder.
No word yet on how much he likes antagonizing judges.
As for why Harper was pulled from pretrial house arrest on Tuesday and locked up in the county jail? According to BSO records, he left his house without permission for seven minutes on the night of January 6, which resulted in a warning for Harper. On January 16, the GPS signal from his ankle bracelet showed that he went to visit a friend when he said he was going shopping. Judge Ian Richards signed a warrant for his arrest on January 20.
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