Monday, August 4, 2008

CLIENTS: Sexual Healing

Yes, I was the lawyer for 19-year-old Jean Carlo Ponzanelli who was recently featured on KXAN. Jean recently received a sentence of 3 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Corrections for violations of his deferred adjudication probation received for a plea of guilty to Attempted Sexual Assault last year in Williamson County. He was 17 years old at the time of his alleged offense, and the alleged female victim was 13. I did not represent him on this plea. After the plea and after his arrest for his alleged probation violations, it was found he was not a citizen. He did not know this because his mother brought him over as a very young child. He is now facing deportation.

While I am not permitted to discuss the priviledged commuication between us, I can say this: Jean did not have many good choices in the matter.

Under the law, Jean most likely would face deportation under any of the possible scenarios: continued deferred adjudication, continued regular probation, or receiving a sentence within the range of 2-10 years in prison.

The one scenario that Mr. Ponzanelli would have been able to stay in this country would have been if his original plea of guilty had been allowed by the Court to be withdrawn, the case went to trial (the original charge with a potential range of 5-99 years), and he prevailed with a not-guilty verdict.

Mr. Ponzanelli considered these possibilities and made his decision.

The main focus of his supporters now should be on amending the law to provide some defense to those young men caught in situations because of deception, lies, and entrapment. Young women these days have the ability to lie and mislead by the likes of MySpace and other social outlets not available just a few years ago. But in addition, schools should start educating their students in the impact of the criminal statutes. If the students knew the consequences of their actions, maybe they would think twice before putting themselves in such situations.

I did my best for Jean, I just wish the law would have been a bit kinder. It's up to the Legislature now.


Anonymous said...

Attorney Lauerman, You are right, we, Jean's supporters, should now focus our attention on getting the laws changed. Too many boys are being caught in this legal net and their only defense is age. There are presently 3 new boys in Williamson County Jail accused of the same crime as Jean's. Another boy was just released after completing his jail sentence after taking a plea bargain. And, as you know, there have been many boys in Williamson County alone who are now in prison as a result of probation violations after having pleaded guilty to similar "crimes." This is happening throughout the country. These boys' lives are forever changed. These boys' will bear the new scarlett letter for the rest of their lives. What will become of them?

I did want to make a correction as to Jean's age. He turned 19 April 10 this year in county jail. Jean turned 18 last year, in county jail. Jean's next few birthdates will now be spent in prison.

Please check out This a group of family and friends who support law reform and we plan to be fully prepared by the 2009 Legislative Session to go before the legislators and call for change. I plan to be among this fine group of people and I hope you will consider joining our cause.

Jan Fewell

Octavio Ponzanelli Ruiz the black charro said...

Well, I don´t know US law, I am Jean´s uncle, I do live at Mexico And I am going to help him if he be deported. He knows he has a lovely home here.
Thanks for all that pepole who is helping him.
I was born at Mexico and my parents are italian, so, my english is not good enough, sorry about it.

Octavio Ponzanelli Ruiz the black charro said...

I´ll be waiting news