Clyde Ray Spencer spent 20 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. In 1984, Spencer was a police officer being investigated on false claims of child sexual abuse and was getting a divorce. His wife Shirley Hanson and her lover apparently decided they wanted him out of their lives to proceed with their relationship. They “finished him off” by having their children falsely accuse him of child sexual abuse. Since Shirley Hanson’s lover Michael Davidson was another sheriff department employee, the attack on Clyde Ray Spencer was made easier.
Sergeant Michael Davidson was the supervisor of Detective Sharon Krause, the primary investigator on the Spencer case. This should have raised questions about conflict of interest immediately, but apparently either didn’t or those questions were covered up. Therefore it was easy for him to push to introduce false evidence, twist the facts, and manipulate the system to obtain a false conviction to put an innocent man in prison to further his personal goals.
Americans mistakenly believe they can count on law enforcement personnel to tell the truth. The unfortunately reality is that far too many law enforcement personnel from street cops to prosecutors are manipulative, unethical, and even criminal. They are too often liars who are out to “win cases” even if it means pinning crimes, even fictional crimes that never happened, on innocent people. They are especially prone to doing this when they feel they have a personal reason to do so. Too often the primary differences between dirty cops like Davidson and criminals are that the dirty cops have badges, can wrongfully hurt people while getting paid to do it by taxpayers, and when caught are seldom if ever prosecuted for their crimes.
Sharon Krause: Biased, Manipulative, and Abusive
As it turns out, Sharon Krause didn’t need extra encouragement to go on a vindictive witch-hunt against a falsely accused parent. She’s yet another example of a biased unethical law enforcement official who doesn’t blink at the idea of persecuting the innocent. There are many allegations against her regarding wrongful investigative procedures, lying, tampering with witnesses, and pursuing wrongful prosecutions against her in multiple child sex abuse cases resulting in wrongful convictions that have landed innocent parents in prison for a decade or more. This includes not only the Clyde Ray Spencer case, but also the case of Lynn Malcom who was put in prison for 10 years before being released after a realization that she probably didn’t commit the crime of which she was convicted.
Conflict of Interest: Hidden Until Conviction Obtained
Michael Davidson made many trips to jail to attempt to talk Spencer into pleading guilty, even though Spencer did not want to talk with him and had counsel and the police should not have been talking with Spencer like this. Davidson argued that a public trial would be difficult on the children and that Spencer should confess and plead guilty. Meanwhile, Spencer’s mental health was falling apart under the strain of the false allegations, loss of his job, imprisonment, and breakup of his marriage in part due to the secret affair between Davidson and Shirley Hanson, Spencer’s wife.
Davidson wouldn’t take no for an answer. He continued to force himself on Spencer until Clark County jail personnel finally ordered him to not return. But the damage had been done. Spencer had entered a plea of not guilty, but as he came to believe that he could not defend himself even though he believed he was innocent, he instructed his court-appointed attorney James Rulli to enter an Alford plea  which means the defendent asserts innocence but does not believe he or she can mount a successful defense.
The conflict of interest due to the affair between Spencer’s wife and Michael Davidson didn’t come out until after the conviction was obtained and Spencer was tossed in prison. He spent 20 years in prison before Washington Governor Gary Locke commuted his sentence as it was increasingly clear that he was framed by his ex-wife, her lover, and young children being subjected to parental alienation by their mother.
Spencer Children Speak Out Regarding Father’s Innocence
In July 2009, Spencer’s children Matthew Spencer and Kathryn Tetz, now adults in their 30s, testified in court that their father never molested them. Although they believe he had flaws that led to the demise of the marriage, child abuse and sexual molestation were never among them. They pointed to his undercover police work putting a lot of strain on marriages and relationships, something that he had tried to ameliorate by leaving his federal law enforcement jobs and switching to non-undercover work with the corrupt police department of Vancouver, Washington. Ironically, this is the same police department for which Sharon Krause and Michael Davidson worked unethically and possibly illegally to put Spencer in prison on false accusations with false evidence.
News Video on Spencer Children Recanting False Child Sex Abuse Claims
Misconduct Not Limited to Police
What was done to Spencer is a poster case for police abuse, conflict of interest, and even prosecutorial misconduct. In Clark County, Washington, corruption and depravity spans across law enforcement agencies. The misconduct by government officials wasn’t limited to just corrupt and biased police. The prosecutor was also responsible for heinous misconduct by hiding exculpatory evidence including medical exams that showed no evidence of the alleged violent rapes of the children described by Sharon Krause.
It is well-understood matter of criminal law that prosecutors are required to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense. But judging from this case, in Clark County it is acceptable for the government to violate the laws and trample upon citizens’ Constitutional Rights.
This should be no surprise to Americans who are paying attention to the numerous examples every year of misconduct, evidence tampering, perjury, and Constitutional and civil rights violations by prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. These kinds of misconduct are unfortunately common across the nation. They are seldom punished or prosecuted, perhaps because the people who committed the crimes professionally and/or personally aligned with the ones responsible for prosecuting the government-employed criminals behind such atrocities.
Do you honestly think a criminal would indict and prosecute himself or herself or a close associate for breaking the law? Of course not. Government-employed criminals are no different. Without independent oversight to root out, investigate, and vigorously punish the criminal misconduct of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, the criminality by these people will continue. The abuse and persecution against innocent targets and their families will continue in the name of “tough on crime” attitudes and winning cases at all costs, including abandoning truth and justice when expedient.
Corrupt Law Enforcement: Hazardous to Families
The Spencer case is yet another egregious abuse of justice due to malfeasance of government officials. The public is not safe from corrupt law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government officials because these people are empowered by corruption and inaction to perjure, tamper with and manufacture evidence, suborn perjury of witnesses, tamper with judges, and hide exculpatory evidence to which the defense has a Constitutional right. Government officials who act in these fashions should be prosecuted for criminal misconduct, deprivation of civil rights, and other crimes. But this seldom happens. Until this changes, the American public should have no confidence in law enforcement, the courts, and the government.
The criminals in government won’t correct these problems. Instead, they will do all they can to cover them up and enable themselves to continue to violate the laws and trample upon people’s rights because it is to their advantage to do so as it helps them bully wrongly accused people into plea bargains and rack up more “wins” in prosecutions.
Dennis Hunter of the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office believes this reasoning if you listen to his expressed intent to appeal the Spencer case. Despite the strong evidence of Spencer’s innocence, conflicts of interests and bias in the police department, and prosecutorial misconduct, Hunter has threatened to take the Spencer case to the Washington Supreme Court if he doesn’t get what he wants.
Speak Out Against Clark County Corruption and Incompetence
If the case disgusts you as much as it should, perhaps you’d like to share your thoughts with Dennis Hunter and his co-conspirator prosecutor Kim Farr. You can send them emails at [email protected]  and [email protected] . You can look up their other buddies-in-crime at the Clark County Prosecutor Office website .
Clark County law enforcement and courts apparently have a poor reputation with the citizens over more than just the Spencer case. If this type of atrocity continues, I hope the citizens of Clark County will be voting against Art Curtis, the elected official in charge of this depraved prosecutor’s office. This is the same man who stated that the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office had no such records in an apparently attempt to deny the existence of medical exam reports that were inconsistent with the prosecutor’s rape and sex abuse charges against Spencer. Art Curtis appears to have a personal vested interest in perverting justice in the Spencer case.
Yet it is not just Curtis’s sense of justice that is questionable. Even his priorities and fiscal responsibility are doubtful. Not only does Curtis apparently think it is justified for the government to heap criminal abuses upon an apparently innocent man as they have done to Spencer, but he also thinks it is worthwhile for his office to be spending taxpayer money for repeatedly prosecuting another man for taking a nearly worthless 16 year old water heater from an abandoned mobile home that was declared by the government as uninhabitable due to mold contamination. The accused party, Kevin Vinsonhaler, did this allegedly with permission from the trailer park maintenance man who was found dead the next day from a drug overdose who therefore cannot testify.
The first jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal. The jury foreperson was upset the case was even being pursued as it seemed so wasteful and questionable. Yet Art Curtis decided to proceed with a second trial. The second jury acquitted with no deadlock, despite Judge Diane Woolard’s silencing of the defense that Tim Grace, the dead maintenance man, allegedly gave permission to the accused to take the water heater in the first place.
(from In Our Opinion: Cheers & Jeers )
Jeers: To the office of county Prosecutor Art Curtis. Curtis and his staff rightfully take a hard stance against law-breakers, but persisting in a case involving a water heater removed — allegedly with permission — from a trashed mobile home near Wintler Park is overkill. Kevin S. Vinsonhaler was acquitted following a second felony burglary trial this week for taking the appliance, valued at less than $150, from the uninhabitable former home. Seen in a saner light, Vinsonhaler’s actions could be called “recycling.” The case occupied too much of the court’s time and — at $2,000 per day — taxpayers’ money.
Apparently the malicious and wasteful prosecutors in Clark County don’t have enough substantial cases to prosecute to keep them busy. So they spend their time persecuting innocents and wasting taxpayer dollars on cases involving questionable evidence and trivial damages that cost more to prosecute than the expense of any harm done even if their questionable accusations are true.
One wonders if Art Curtis will irresponsibly seek a means to try the case yet again for a third time. Perhaps he’ll try to appeal based upon Judge Woolard’s inappropriate silencing of the mention of dead maintenance man Tim Grace. Or maybe he’s too busy planning to persecute Clyde Ray Spencer some more instead. Either way, it is time for the voters in Clark County to kick Art Curtis out of office and replace him with a more rational and fair prosecutor.