Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Book Review

Bogus Allegations: The Injustice of Guilty until Proven Innocent

by Michelle Lombardi Gesse, Johnson Books

“Suddenly there was a swarm of police officers with rifles, shotguns and handguns aimed at me.  I saw one officer with a German Shepherd. It was surreal. Nothing in my life had prepared me for this moment.  I stepped between Steven and the cops. If they tried to shoot him, they would have to shoot me first. Surely, they wouldn’t do that?”

What would you do if this happened to you? If the police came to your house in the middle of the night and arrested your husband, took him away and wanted to search your house.

Would you talk? Would you let them search?  Would you have the number of a lawyer to call in the middle of the night?

Most people wouldn’t know what to do and Michelle Gesse had to learn the hard way.

 From Shadow of Power by Steve Martini, a book Michelle Gesse read during her ordeal:

But for certain aspects of terminal cancer, there is nothing I can think of in life that will destroy a person faster than the perils of dealing with the American  judicial system.

She and her husband Steven, a happily-married, upper middle class professional couple living in Boulder, Colorado, were in bed after a dinner party at their house. Then, things went south.

Unbeknownst to them, a disgruntled (nuts?) guest  called 911 and claimed Steven Gesse had threatened him with a gun. Enter the SWAT team.

Bogus Allegations is a first-hand account of what happened to the Gesses after Steven was arrested and charged with two felony counts: what they did; how they coped, or not; how their lives were changed; and what they learned along the way. 

You’ll hear about plea bargaining; random drug testing; finding a good lawyer; dealing with geographic restrictions; how to avoid being the victim of someone’s accusation in the first place; the high price tag for a jury trial if you refuse to plea bargain; and how it feels to be assumed guilty, rather than the other way around. 

Michelle tells all with emotional honesty, humor, and indignation in this informative book based on her seven-month stint as the wife of an accused felon.

Even though her story deals with how to survive a wrongful  criminal allegation, many of the tips she gives apply just as easily to a bogus civil suit and while the story takes place in Colorado, it could happen anywhere.

Read Bogus Allegations and be prepared. Because it could happen to anyone.  Even you.

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