Ellsworth, Maine is a small town that helps make up a county of only 50,000 people, but a big scandal is erupting as citizens are rallying against the District Attorney.
DA Mary Kellett is accused of bringing false accusations against men who suffered prison time for crimes they didn’t commit.
After 16 years of marriage, Vladek Filler filed for divorce from his wife a few years ago, alleging that he didn’t want his children to be raised in a household ripe with abusive behavior from his mentally unstable spouse. While Mr. Filler attempted to tackle the legal proceedings in as civil of a manner as possible, Ellsworth residents say that divorce started off what they call the a modern day witch hunt, dubbed the Rape Hysteria of Ellsworth.
Filler’s wife responded to the divorce filing with allegations of her own. She said her husband would murder their children. She also said that she wanted Vladek dead and would cut him into pieces herself. The allegations against Mr. Filler were proved false by a DHHS investigation, but once the woman brought charges of rape against her husband, Vladek was put behind bars.
Without any physical evidence of a sexual assault, Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellettt crusaded against Vladek Filler and had him arrested and charged with rape and assault. There was no proof aside from testimonies from his wife, who had previously been labeled as having “mental issues” by the police and “certifiable” by the Sheriff’s Department. DA Kellett pushed on with the case, however, humiliating Mr. Filler in the courtroom and saying that the state could not afford a more thorough forensic investigation but that statistics suggest that Mr. Filler most likely raped his wife. She urged the jury to find him guilty on all counts despite presenting no evidence and hurdling prejudiced accusations. Evidence regarding Mr. Filler’s innocence was disregarded on trial and the jury was never even made aware that he had sought a restraining order from his wife in order to protect him and his children.
Mr. Filler was convicted by a jury on a slew of charges, but eventually won an appeal. Had he not, he faced up to 30 years in jail. The Maine Supreme Court ruled that Mary Kellett had “improperly encouraged the jury to use the absence of evidence” to convict Fuller, but years after the case first came to light, Ellsworth residents are now turning on the District Attorney for other prosecutions she unjustly aided in.
Earlier this month, the state Board of Overseers of the Bar Counsel is saying that DA Kellett applied prosecutorial misconduct while serving as District Attorney. While the Filler case might have garnered some attention on false rape charges, Kellett led trials against several other Maine men for crimes that might not have been committed. According to the Bar Counsel, witnesses and evidence were both tampered with by Kellett at numerous court hearings and she has at time presented false information and evidence before both judge and jury.
In one such incident, Kellett incorrectly informed a jury that one of the defendants she lobbed rape charges against had killed his first wife. He did not. During other trials she tried to deny defense attorneys access to alleged evidence and has been accused of knowingly making false statements in the courtroom.
Upwards of four men in the small Maine community are indicted on counts of rape each month, and Kellett has been aiding in these prosecutions often delivering only allegations and accusations against defendants that are produced by often mentally unstable spouses and girlfriends. While Mr. Filler was able to appeal his convictions, not all are so lucky. Now advocates are calling for the disbarment of the prosecutor.
As of this month, 1,133 people have already signed their names to a petition to disbar Mary Kellett. The Stop Abusive and Violent Environments advocacy group say that she has “had the effect of undermining public respect for law,” and calls her dangerous.
Despite her misconduct, DA Kellett continues to lead prosecutions against men in Ellsworth with often nothing more than allegations from estranged spouses. In most of the cases, defendants are found guilty with no evidence to show. Presidential candidate Bob Barr has called for an investigation into civil rights crimes committed by Kellet and renowned private investigator TJ Ward has been tackling the case for Filler free of charge. According to Ward, this prosecutorial corruption scandal is affecting numerous innocent lives. As Kellett’s wrath wages on, more men in the town of Ellsworth aren’t safe from persecution as the DA continues her witch hunt.