Never Forget: Leniency is for the Powerfulby Will Grigg
Nov. 02, 2012
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Former Idaho State Senator John McGee served 39 days in jail after pleading guilty to a single charge of disturbing the peace. McGee had been accused of repeatedly making obscene propositions to a female employee in his office at the state Capitol.
Several months earlier, McGee had been arrested after he commandeered – and wrecked – an SUV that didn’t belong to him during a drunken rampage. In that incident, the felony theft charge was dropped and McGee pleaded guilty to a single DUI count. McGee’s predatory conduct toward the staffer occurred while he was on probation.
Ada County Prosecutor Jean Fisher, who earned a reputation for pursuing sex offenders, displayed unusual moderation in dealing with McGee. In several encounters McGee had unwanted physical contact with the victim; on at least one occasion he exposed himself to her. Under Idaho law those acts constitute, at a minimum, felonious indecent exposure; at worst they qualify as aggravated assault with intent to commit a serious felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Idaho prisons are filled with common citizens who committed non-violent offenses that injured nobody but themselves. As a member of the political class, McGee committed serious offenses against persons and property and suffered the mildest possible consequences.