How Dan Cox Put a Child Sex Offender Back on the Streets
Dan Cox, through his legal practice, made sure that a sex offender convicted of sexual crimes against a 13-year old girl is free and living about ¼ mile from a school in Easton.
WARNING: This story contains descriptions of sexual violence. Reader discretion is advised.
In his role as a criminal defense attorney, Delegate Dan Cox helped an Eastern Shore man stay out of prison.
Charles Jarrett was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year old female on May 13, 2020. The State of Maryland ultimately charged him with rape in the first and second degrees, sex offense in the third degree, assault in the second degree, and perverted practice.
The Duckpin does not name victims of sexual violence.
The explanation of the charges is rather gruesome.
While at first represented by a public defender, Dan Cox entered the case as Jarrett’s attorney on November 17, 2020. Cox’s first act as counsel was to immediately try to spring Jarrett from jail, where he had been since his arrest earlier on May 14.
On November 27, 2020, Cox filed a motion for pre-trial release for Jarrett, renewing and reinstating a motion filed by Jarrett on June 29. Cox cited, of all things, the “dangers of COVID-19” as the reason needed for Jarrett’s release.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic-related orders, Mr. Jarrett is exposed to dangers with confinement additionally meriting pre-trial release.
Cox ultimately filed additional motions trying to get Jarrett out of jail. Cox finally succeeded on April 26, 2021. Jarrett was released on only $20,000 bond with required 24-hour electronic monitoring and an order to stay away from the victim and her family.
Now that he had gotten an alleged sex offender out of jail, Dan Cox tried to get the charges dismissed. On more than one occasion, Cox said that his client had been “falsely accused” and that the victim was lying about the incident.
The victim’s statement about the incident was chilling:
Ultimately, Cox’s client Jarrett accepted an Alford plea. An Alford plea is a special kind of plea where the accused does not admit the act and continues to claim innocence, but acknowledges that the evidence presented by the court would likely convict the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.
In other words, it’s a guilty plea without admitting any guilt.
The Alford plea saw Jarrett convicted of the third count, Third Degree Sex Offense. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Except he isn’t actually serving five years in prison: only eighteen months of the sentence was executed under the plea deal, and he was released with time served after 349 days. He will remain on probation for five years.
The proof is in the pudding. Here are the full files of documents from the Talbot County Circuit Court.
How does that jive with Cox’s political claims about being tough on crime? More on that in part two…