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To the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission

Regarding Utah Fourth District Court

Judge Thomas Low

Case Number 151401024 State Felony

Defendant: Vallejo, Keith Robert

Plaintiff: State of Utah

In the case, Judge Thomas Low in his sentencing hearing

The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinary, good man. But great
men, [long pause] sometimes do bad things. [Judge Thomas Low in the sentencing
hearing]

Vallejo was convicted by a jury in 10 felony counts of sexual assault against two
young women both minors while in his trusted care.

This comment absolutely minimizes the extent and the degree of the defendants
offenses. These crimes were not misdemeanors or victimless crimes that can be
casually brushed off as bad things. These are crimes that violate human rights,
civil rights and they are an outright disregard for the proportions of the perpetrators
offense towards these young women.

1. Less than 10 percent of victims surveyed report sexual assault to police. Of


these, a small percentage of convictions are made. One of the prevailing
reasons for this is; victims are hesitant about coming forward because of the
abusive and depreciatory treatment often received in cases of sexual abuse.
2. One can only imagine of how a victim these heinous acts would feel in a
courtroom with the judge pronouncing that the perpetrator is an
extraordinary good man, when she is responsible for sending the attacker
to prison.

This is a blatant violation of Canon 2; A JUDGE SHALL PERFORM THE DUTIES OF


JUDICIAL OFFICE IMPARTIALLY,* COMPETENTLY, AND DILIGENTLY.

2.3Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment*

[B] A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct
manifest bias or prejudice or engage in harassment, including but not limited to
bias, prejudice, or harassment based upon race, sex, gender, religion, national
origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic
status, or political affiliation, and shall not permit court staff, court officials, or
others subject to the judges direction and control to do so.

1. A judge who manifests bias or prejudice in a proceeding impairs the


fairness of the proceeding and brings the judiciary into disrepute.
2. Examples of manifestations of bias or prejudice include but are not limited
to epithets; slurs; demeaning nicknames; stereotyping; attempted humor
based upon stereotypes; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts;
suggestions of connections between race, ethnicity, or nationality and crime;
and irrelevant references to personal characteristics. Even facial expressions
and body language can convey to parties and lawyers in the proceeding,
jurors, the media, and others an appearance of bias or prejudice. A judge
must avoid conduct that may reasonably be perceived as prejudiced
or biased.

2.4External Influences on Judicial Conduct

[B] A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or other
interests or relationships to influence the judges judicial conduct or judgment.

Judge Low was clearly swayed by the some 50 character letters that were submitted
to the court before sentencing. These letters were conceivably submitted by people
writing in regards to the defendants service as a bishop with the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints which he as allegedly released from after the leaders of
the Church learned of the allegations. Although one could reasonably expect the
Judge to take these into account when imposing the sentence, to verbally praise the
defendant as an extraordinarily good man during the sentencing hearing is
absolutely judicially inappropriate and shows bias towards the membership of the
particular faith. One can only wonder if the hearing and sentencing results would
have ended with a different tone had the defendant been Catholic, Jewish or other.

The defendants brother spoke in the hearing and compared the defendant to Jesus
in making the argument that he was wrongly convicted. The defendant has still not
acknowledged his guilt or showed any signs of admission of guilt. He maintains his
innocence and clearly has no intentions of recompense to the victims and this is not
the sign of an extraordinarily good man as Judge Low surmises. This Judge showed
no inclination to encourage the defendant to show regret or remorse toward the
victims. In an emotional and impassioned display he praised the defendant. This is
a flagrant display of bias and a complete lack of independent judgment and a
display of Judicial Conduct that is unacceptable to the general public, and therefore
a huge assault to the administration of justice in Utah.

External Influences on Judicial Conduct (2.4) may also be brought into question
regarding Judge Lows decision to allow the defendant to be free and out of custody
between time of verdict and sentencing. This allowed the defendant who had been
convicted of 10 counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and one count
of object rape, a first-degree felony, to be free until his sentencing hearing. Once
again, this begs the question is the Judge being biased and showing poor judgement
despite state statue, which reads that, upon conviction, the court shall order
that the convicted defendant who is waiting imposition or execution of
sentence be detained.

We acknowledge that this would be seen as circumstantial case to some people.


Good people do make mistakes and commit crimes, and its not evidence of bias for
a judge to acknowledge that a convicted criminal can be a decent person with
redeeming qualities. However, this Judge showed a complete lack of empathy for
the victims and showed a seeming identification only with the defendant.

Although some may see this as circumstantial evidence, the JCC would be shirking
its responsibility if it did not draw reasonable and obvious conclusions from the
evidence before it. The commission should very well take into consideration the
level of public outcry over this incident as well. I would encourage the commission
to carefully review the video provided here.

http://kutv.com/news/local/judge-praised-convicted-sex-offender

Jennifer Yim, Executive Director of the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation


Commission has reported over 150 complaints from Utah citizens regarding Judge
Lows conduct and this shows that there is a serious issue with Utahs judicial
reputation.

http://kutv.com/news/local/protesters-gather-hundreds-file-complaints-after-provo-
judge-praises-convicted-rapist

The commission may wish to review the comments in the Salt Lake Tribune as well,
to see the level of anger from the public.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/5180903-155/complaints-mount-against-utah-judge-who
(427 comments)

Kirby said she found the judge's remarks offensive, and added that she felt Low was
"thinking more about the guilty defendant and his family sitting in the stands."

http://www.sltrib.com/news/5111197-155/no-one-is-really-saying-hes (253
comment)
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e8e8d5c591954d27ae6653a1b55cec05/repercussions-
unclear-judge-after-comments-rape-case

http://kuer.org/post/civil-rights-group-filing-complaint-against-utah-judge-who-
praised-sex-offenders-character

Restore Our Humanity respectfully asks the commission to carefully review this
complaint. The Utah Judicial reputation is at stake.

Extraordinarily Good Men do NOT repeatedly commit acts of rape and sexual abuse
on young women who are entrusted to their care.

If any further information is required, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Mark Lawrence

Director: Restore Our Humanity