Jackson County, Ore. — On Jan. 17, Michael Young of Medford, Ore., breathed a grateful sigh of relief as he received word that multiple, stacked felony sex abuse charges against him had been dismissed.
Young was charged with Rape 1, Sodomy 1, Sex Abuse 2 and 3, and Assault 4 on March 21. Young wasted no time; on March 29, he contacted the US~Observer, and we began our investigation regarding the charges against him.
Young married his wife, Jennifer, in the summer of 2011. At that time, he had no idea that her daughter had severe mental problems. Unbeknownst to Young, his new stepdaughter had previously accused her biological father of sex abuse, resulting in his suicide. Evidence suggests that the sex abuse at the hands of her biological father never occurred.
Soon after Michael and Jennifer were married, the couple moved to Medford with his family so they could care for his elderly parents. Young’s stepdaughter’s mental illness immediately began to surface and quickly escalated into false accusations of sex abuse — accusations that were easily disproven, as some things could not have even taken place.
The very sick stepdaughter’s false accusations soon reached the ears of Medford Police Detective Diane Sandler and Department of Human Services caseworker Angie Albiar. Like two vicious pit bulls, these so-called “professionals” started their attack. As written in our previous article on Young, these two women “overlooked lie after lie coming from Michael’s stepdaughter, as they coached her, groomed her, and then tailored her castle of lies.” Albiar and Sandler failed to conduct any valid investigation whatsoever before sending their lies to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office for formal charges.
Through the hard work of US~Observer investigative reporters and his legal representation, Young’s innocence was proven in the court of public opinion and accepted by Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert and Terry Smith-Norton, the assigned deputy district attorney. They showed their integrity by dismissing the case for lack of evidence. However, this was not a case of it being dismissed because it couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This was a case where Young’s actual innocence could be established by the evidence, and they knew they couldn’t win — especially against a strong defense.
Young’s support system, defense investigators and legal team were poised to establish that the allegations were false, should this case have gone to trial. Renowned sex-abuse attorney Richard Cohen conducted flawless defense strategies for Young and communicated these with Smith-Norton in a highly professional and tactful manner.
To the credit of the deputy district attorney, she reportedly painstakingly investigated the case. This was critical because the Department of Human Services and the other investigating agencies involved failed to engage in an objective investigation. Smith- Norton interviewed numerous witnesses, including the child herself, and came to the correct conclusion that the State could not prove Young committed the charged acts. The US~Observer, along with Young, his family, supporters and his legal team, were thrilled to learn that justice prevailed in this case and that Young was vindicated from these heinous allegations.
The real moral to this story is very simple: When police and the DHS rush to judgment and falsely arrest an innocent person for crimes he did not commit, that person had better make sure he retains the professionals who are capable of vindicating him. Above all, public exposure is imperative, especially when false sex-abuse allegations are made.
Again, the US~Observer commends Cohen for his excellent legal representation of Young. And again, this writer personally commends Heckert and Smith-Norton for serving justice.