was a former Mormon bishop and practicing attorney in Vacaville, California; charged with 14 felonies and three misdemeanors for allegedly sexually abusing four children; was an LDS stake high council member when charged; pleaded not guilty; in June 2024, found not guilty in a jury trial of 16 of 17 counts; jurors deadlocked on one count of felony injury upon a child

Case Summary

James Haskell was a former Mormon bishop and attorney in Solano County, California.

Haskell was charged with 14 felonies and three misdemeanors for allegedly sexually abusing four children.

He was an LDS stake high council member when charged

Haskell pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In June 2024, Haskell was found not guilty in a jury trial of 16 of 17 counts. Jurors deadlocked on one count of felony injury upon a child. A hearing was set for July 15.

According to FLOODLIT’s sources, Haskell was once the LDS bishop of the Vacaville 2nd Ward.

Haskell reportedly hosted a stake girls’ camp at his house in 2021.

At the time of his arrest, he was a stake high council member.

Sources
  1. Faith-Based Organizations - Vacaville
    view source details | 24 Apr 2024 | Vacaville, California [city government website]
  2. Vacaville attorney accused of several sex crimes involving children
    view source details | 12 May 2022 | KRON 4
  3. More charges filed against former Bay Area lawyer accused of child sex crimes
    view source details | 21 Sep 2022 | Mercury News
  4. Mercury News, 2022-12-22
    view source details | |
  5. After prelim, judge sets arraignment for former Vaca lawyer charged with child sex assaults
    view source details | 22 Apr 2023 | Vacaville Reporter
  6. source 5
    view source details | |
  7. Alleged sex assault victim, 16, testifies at trial of former Vaca attorney
    view source details | 22 Apr 2024 | Vacaville Reporter
  8. Witnesses describe Haskell's alleged sexual misconduct at wedding
    view source details | 24 Apr 2024 | Vacaville Reporter
  9. Bay Area attorney on trial for child sexual assaults is found not guilty on 16 of 17 counts, with jurors hung on one
    view source details | 14 Jun 2024 | East Bay Times
Sources excerpts
  • Faith-Based Organizations - Vacaville
    Source type: Website
    Publisher: Vacaville, California [city government website]
    Date published/accessed: 24 Apr 2024
    archive 1 | archive 2

    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Bishop James Haskell 360 Portsmouth Drive Sum Ward 707-448-8702

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    Vacaville attorney accused of several sex crimes involving children
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: KRON 4
    Date published/accessed: 12 May 2022
    archive 1 | archive 2

    VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — A Vacaville attorney has been charged in a number of sex crimes involving children.

    As an attorney for more than 20 years in California, James Haskell has made a name for himself, especially in the Vacaville community. According to his biography on the Reynolds Law website, he’s a partner in the law firm, a member of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and even the Boy Scouts.

    “You cannot recognize a disguised predator,” said Donna Hughes, CEO of Enough is Enough.

    Last week, Haskell was met with 13 charges, nine of them felonies. According to the charging documents, he is accused of assault, committing sex crimes on a child, and child abuse.

    The documents also claim Haskell strangled, pushed, kicked and forced a child younger than 10 years old to sleep in a bathroom.

    Hughes, an advocate for child safety, said these habits are common with successful-type people.
    Complaint alleges abuse, cover-up at Capital Christian School

    “That gives them more access to kids and to unsuspecting teens, and also to those children’s unsuspecting parents,” Hughes said.

    FOX40 tried tracking Haskell down at his home, but only found that it was listed for sale.

    Attorney Jennifer Mouzis said that, as a member of the law, it is always concerning when someone like Haskell is accused of these crimes, and that he will also have to answer to the California State Bar.

    “I feel confident that the State Bar will look at these charges under these circumstances and at least notice their intent to suspend his license pending adjudication,” Mouzis said.

    A spokesperson for the State Bar told FOX40 it cannot confirm or deny anything related to Haskell.

    However, it is up to prosecutors to notify the State Bar when criminal charges are filed against an attorney.

    At last check, Haskell’s license status on the State Bar’s website is still active.

    FOX40 also reached out to the Chamber of Commerce, where he is involved, for comment, but they did not want to speak.

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    More charges filed against former Bay Area lawyer accused of child sex crimes
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Mercury News
    Date published/accessed: 21 Sep 2022
    archive 1 | archive 2

    Judge orders James G. Haskell, 40, charged with four additional felonies and one new misdemeanor — among 18 allegations, most of them felonies involving his four adopted children— to return to Department 23 on Oct. 12 for a hearing on a DA motion to increase bail to $1.5 million

    By Richard Bammer | Vacaville Reporter
    PUBLISHED: September 21, 2022 at 4:33 a.m. | UPDATED: September 21, 2022 at 10:15 a.m.

    The child sex assault case against former Vacaville attorney James Glenn Haskell has grown more complex in recent days, with the prosecutor filing several new serious felony charges and a motion to increase bail to $1.5 million.

    Haskell, 40, who appeared Tuesday morning in Department 23 for the bail-increase motion and to set a preliminary hearing, heard Judge John B. Ellis, after conferring with the attorneys in the case, order him to return at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 12 for the bail motion and the new hearing-setting in the Justice Center in Fairfield.

    Ellis also referred the matter to the Solano County Probation Department, which will issue a pretrial services report, and ordered Haskell, previously an associate attorney with the Reynolds Law firm in Vacaville, to submit to an interview with a probation officer.

    Haskell, now unemployed and living in Southern California, has sold his home in north Vacaville and remains out of custody after posting initial bail amounts in May that totaled $240,000. He is represented by Fairfield criminal defense attorney Thomas Maas.

    The latest developments in the case come after Deputy District Attorney Shelly L. Moore filed her amended criminal complaint on Sept. 15, adding five more counts, four felony charges alleging sexual abuse and one misdemeanor charge alleging physical abuse of a young victim, along with three of the victim’s siblings.

    The new charges, based on an interview with one of the children, add to the original 13 counts, 10 felonies and three misdemeanors. The initial felony allegations span sexual penetration by a foreign object while the minor victim was unconscious to corporal injury to a child to assault likely to produce great bodily injury, including strangulation.

    The five new charges include four counts of a lewd act on a child and one count of cruelty to a child by inflicting injury, by “physically assaulting the boy’s penis,” crimes that allegedly occurred between October 2018 and October 2019, according to wording in the amended complaint.

    Moore’s revised complaint also indicated the children were “particularly vulnerable” and alleged three things: 1) The manner in which the crime was carried out “indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism; 2) that Haskell “took advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit the offense”; and 3) that the allegations “constitute additional aggravating factors.”

    In court on Sept. 15, Haskell again pleaded not guilty to the new charges. If convicted at trial, he faces two life sentences, Moore told The Reporter after the Tuesday morning proceeding.

    In his opposition to the bail increase motion, filed Monday, Maas argued that Haskell cannot raise an additional $1.1 million in bail, saying the amount “is tantamount to denial of bail,” therefore, a violation of the Eighth Amendment, a reference to excessive bail. Maas also asserted that the increased bail would violate the so-called “Humphrey decision,” a right in the state Constitution for a defendant to obtain release on bail from pretrial custody, except in certain cases of capital crimes, violent or sexual felonies, and serious threats of violence.

    Additionally, Maas noted Haskell, who has no prior criminal record, has been fired from the Reynolds firm, is unable to get a job given the ongoing court proceedings, and has surrendered his passport to the court.

    Maas suggested the defendant has had no contact with the victims since he was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail in May.

  • back to online sources list
    Mercury News, 2022-12-22
    Source type: News article
    Publisher:
    Date published/accessed:
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    After prelim, judge sets arraignment for former Vaca lawyer charged with child sex assaults
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Vacaville Reporter
    Date published/accessed: 22 Apr 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    source 5
    Source type: News article
    Publisher:
    Date published/accessed:
    archive 1 | archive 2

    Notably, Maas added in his filing, one of the four children, the boy, was removed from temporary placement and was alleged to have committed sexual abuse against another minor, claiming during an interrogation that Haskell had “pulled and kicked his penis.” Another child alleged Haskell “years ago had repeatedly stroked her thigh.”

    Court records show that Haskell — a Brigham Young University graduate, member of the California and District of Columbia bar associations and an Eagle Scout, according to biographical information at the Reynolds office website prior to its deletion — was arrested by Solano County Sheriff’s deputies on a warrant issued May 3.

    He posted $170,000 bail on May 4, but court records also show that he appeared to be arrested again, on May 5, when he posted additional bail of $70,000, bringing the total to $240,000.

    On May 4, Haskell also was subject to a criminal protective order, to have no contact with four youths listed in the order.

    The Solano County District Attorney’s Office filed its complaint on May 3, and the following day at arraignment Haskell — a Georgetown University Law Center graduate who, at one time, was active in the Vacaville Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America — pleaded not guilty to all counts, denied all enhancements and the allegations, court documents indicate.

    On the Reynolds Law website before it became known that he had been arrested, Haskell was deemed a certified specialist in estate planning, probate and trust law, authorized to advise on business formation matters, partnerships, nonprofits, corporations, drafting and reviewing contracts, wills, trusts, and durable powers of attorney. His clients, according to the website, included ranchers and farmers, local teachers, law enforcement officers, real estate developers and agents, manufacturers, professionals and retirees.

    Haskell was raised in California but also lived in Alaska, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Washington, D.C. Before attending law school, he worked at the U.S. Senate and at his grandfather’s cattle and grain exporting business in Southern California.

    While attending the California Western School of Law in San Diego, where he graduated in 2009, he worked at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, serving as a judicial extern, or researcher and writer, for Judge Anthony J. Battaglia and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    While volunteering for the Boys Scouts of America, Haskell served as a Scoutmaster and commissioner. Besides his memberships in Rotary and the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, he was a member of Will C. Wood’s Pep Squad and the Play 4 All Park, among many other nonprofits.

    ---

    from:
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/12/22/vaca-attorney-charged-in-child-sex-assaults-case-get-another-new-prelim-date/

    Bay Area attorney charged in child sex assaults case get another new prelim date
    Judge orders James G. Haskell, 40, to return to Department 23 for the hearing at 10 a.m. Feb. 17 in the Justice Center in Fairfield

    By Richard Bammer | Vacaville Reporter
    PUBLISHED: December 22, 2022 at 4:49 a.m. | UPDATED: December 22, 2022 at 5:11 a.m.

    A Solano County Superior Court Judge again has rescheduled a preliminary hearing date in the felony child sex assault case against former Vacaville attorney James Glenn Haskell.
    James Glenn Haskell (Solano County Sheriff's Office)
    James Glenn Haskell (Solano County Sheriff’s Office)

    Judge John B. Ellis previously scheduled Haskell, 40, for the hearing on Friday in Department 23, but a court-records search Wednesday showed the defendant, who was last in court on Nov. 9, instead will return at 10 a.m. Feb. 17 to the Justice Center in Fairfield.

    The new court date follows a mid-September revelation that the case grew more complex not only with a motion to increase bail but also with Deputy District Attorney Shelly Moore filing several new serious felony charges.

    As previously reported, Haskell, a former associate attorney with the Reynolds Law firm in Vacaville and now unemployed and living in Southern California, has sold his home in north Vacaville and remains out of custody after posting $240,000 bail in May. He is represented by Fairfield criminal defense attorney Thomas Maas.

    Moore filed an amended criminal complaint on Sept. 15, adding five more counts, four felony charges alleging sexual abuse and one misdemeanor charge alleging physical abuse of a young victim and three of the victim’s siblings.

    The new charges, based on an interview with one of the children, adds to the original 13 counts, 10 felonies and three misdemeanors. The initial felony allegations span sexual penetration by a foreign object while the minor victim was unconscious to corporal injury to a child to assault, including strangulation, likely to produce great bodily injury.

    The five new charges include four counts of a lewd act on a child and one count of cruelty to a child by inflicting injury, crimes that allegedly occurred between October 2018 and October 2019, according to the amended complaint.

    Moore’s revised complaint also indicated the children were “particularly vulnerable” and alleged that the manner in which the crime was carried out “indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism;” Haskell “took advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit the offense;” and the allegations “constitute additional aggravating factors.”

    In court on Sept. 15, Haskell again pleaded not guilty to the new charges. If convicted at trial, he faces two life sentences, Moore told The Reporter after the morning proceeding.

    In his opposition to a bail increase motion, Maas argued that Haskell could not raise an additional $1.1 million in bail, saying the amount “is tantamount to denial of bail” and, therefore, a violation of the Eighth Amendment, a reference to excessive bail. Maas also asserted that the increased bail would violate the so-called “Humphrey decision,” a right in the state Constitution for a defendant to obtain release on bail from pretrial custody, except in certain cases of capital crimes, violent or sexual felonies, and serious threats of violence.

    Additionally, Maas noted Haskell, who has no prior criminal record, has been fired from the Reynolds firm, is unable to get a job given the ongoing court proceedings and has surrendered his passport to the court.

    On Nov. 7 the court received a pretrial services report from the Solano County Probation Department.

    It is unclear from publicly available records if Ellis granted Moore’s motion for a boost in bail.

    Maas suggested the defendant has had no contact with the victims since he was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail in May.

    Maas added in his filing that one of the four children, a boy, was removed from temporary placement and was alleged to have committed sexual abuse against another minor, claiming during an interrogation that Haskell had “pulled and kicked his penis.” Another child alleged Haskell “years ago had repeatedly stroked her thigh.”

    Court records show that Haskell — an Eagle Scout, a Brigham Young University graduate, and member of the California and District of Columbia bar associations, according to biographical information at the Reynolds office website prior to its deletion — was arrested by Solano County Sheriff’s deputies on a warrant issued May 3.

    He posted $170,000 bail on May 4, but court records also show that he appeared to be arrested again, on May 5, when he posted additional bail of $70,000, bringing the total to $240,000.

    On May 4, Haskell also was subject to a criminal protective order, prohibiting him from having any contact with four youths listed in the order.

    The Solano County District Attorney’s Office filed its complaint on May 3 and, the following day at arraignment, Haskell pleaded not guilty to all counts, denied all enhancements and the allegations, court documents indicate.

    --

    From the Vacaville Reporter on 2023-04-22:

    "A 41-year-old former Vacaville attorney charged in a felony child sex assault case will face a trial in Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield.

    After a two-day preliminary hearing that ended Friday afternoon, Judge John B. Ellis ordered James Glenn Haskell, accused of 16 counts, felonies and misdemeanors, to return to Department 23 for a held-to-answer arraignment at 8:30 a.m. May 3 in the Justice Center.

    Haskell then left the courtroom with his defense attorney, Thomas Maas of Fairfield.

    At the arraignment, Haskell again will enter a plea, and Ellis will set times and dates for other proceedings, including a jury trial.

    Before Day 2 of the hearing resumed, Ellis met briefly in chambers with Maas, Deputy District Attorney Shelly Moore, who is prosecuting the case, and a social worker from Solano County Child Welfare Services.

    Returning to the courtroom at the end of the meeting, Ellis said, “Given the nature of the case,” he would order the four victims, all minors when DA’s Office filed its criminal complaint in early May last year, to testify.

    As testimony resumed for the second day, Sheriff’s Detective Daniel Schilling returned to the witness stand for more direct questioning by Moore.

    He testified that one of the victims told him during an interview that Haskell allegedly had inserted his fingers into her vagina an estimated “20 or 30 times” while she was asleep, actions that started in January 2020 and occurred before her 16th birthday.

    Upon cross-examination, however, Maas got Schilling to acknowledge that the girl was unsure if the crimes occurred before her 16th birthday.

    From time to time, Maas requested that some of the testimony be stricken from the record, but Ellis tended to overrule the requests.

    To counter Moore’s allegations of child abuse, Maas called two county child welfare employees, one of them testifying that, during supervised visits in February 2022, the children “appeared to be happy” when meeting with Haskell and his wife, Emily.

    A third defense witness, also an employee from Solano County Child Welfare Services, said she took the children to a hospital for medical check-ups but did not discuss allegations of sexual abuse.

    In her final remarks shortly afterward, Moore enumerated the allegations, 18 in all, among them sexual penetration by a foreign object while the minor victim was unconscious; corporeal injury to a child; assault, including strangulation, likely to produce great bodily injury, and strikes with belt; forcing two of the children to sleep on a bathroom floor, one of them for bed-wetting; four counts of lewd acts on a child; and cruelty to a child by inflicting injury, including pushing a child to the ground, then kicking the child, felonies and misdemeanors that allegedly occurred between October 2018 and up until early 2022, according to court documents and testimony.

    Maas noted that one of the older victims delayed reporting sexual abuse, that some of the allegations were “suspect,” and that the four felony sexual assault claims were “the most overtly suspect set of claims.”

    In the end, Ellis discharged two of the counts, leaving 16, including the four felony sexual assault charges.

    As previously reported, on the first day of the preliminary hearing, April 12, Moore called as her first witness Solano County Sheriff’s Deputy Wes Simpson. He said he responded to a Vacaville high school on a report that Haskell, a former attorney with the Reynolds Law firm, had injured a child by striking her with a belt.

    Interviewed on Feb. 3, 2020, the child told Simpson that she had been spanked “about 20 times” during the previous nine months, bruising her buttocks and upper thighs.

    Simpson testified that he left the school campus to speak with Haskell’s wife, Emily, about the child’s statements and those of another child who heard the corporeal punishment.

    Schilling, who also testified the first day, said he learned from a family friend the allegations of “sexual touching” by Haskell, that Haskell reportedly placed his fingers inside her vagina several times during an 18-month time period.

    During the afternoon session, Schilling remained on the stand and Maas cross-examined him, with Schilling stating that the girl didn’t report the sexual assaults at the time because she was afraid she’d “be disciplined” like the other children.

    Besides using video recordings of interview with the children, Maas also repeatedly referred to investigator reports, specifically what the children said, in an effort to weaken Moore’s case.

    Schilling admitted Maas was correct that, in the case of one child, she did not report the sexual abuse for fear of being returned to foster care.

    Haskell’s most recent court dates follow a mid-September revelation that the case grew more complex not only with a motion to increase bail but also with Moore’s filing several new serious felony charges.

    Haskell, a former associate attorney with the Reynolds firm and reportedly now unemployed and living in Southern California, remains out of custody after posting $240,000 bail in May.

    Moore filed an amended criminal complaint on Sept. 15, adding five more counts, including the four felony charges alleging sexual abuse and one misdemeanor charge alleging physical abuse of a young victim and three of the victim’s siblings.

    Moore’s revised complaint also indicated the children were “particularly vulnerable” and alleged that the manner in which the crime was carried out “indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism”: Haskell “took advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit the offense”; and the allegations “constitute additional aggravating factors.”

    In court on Sept. 15, Haskell again pleaded not guilty to the new charges. If convicted at trial, he faces two life sentences, Moore told The Reporter after the morning proceeding.

    Court records show that Haskell was arrested by Solano County Sheriff’s deputies on a warrant issued May 3, 2022.

    He posted $170,000 bail on May 4, but court records also show that he was arrested again, on May 5, when he posted additional bail of $70,000, bringing the total to $240,000.

    On May 4, Haskell also was subject to a criminal protective order, prohibiting him from having any contact with four youths listed in the order.

    The Solano County District Attorney’s Office filed its complaint on May 3 and, the following day at arraignment, Haskell pleaded not guilty to all counts, denied all enhancements and the allegations, court documents indicate."

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    Alleged sex assault victim, 16, testifies at trial of former Vaca attorney
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Vacaville Reporter
    Date published/accessed: 22 Apr 2024
    archive 1 | archive 2

    A 16-year-old girl testifying in the felony child sex assault trial of a former Vacaville attorney frequently said she remembered “inappropriate touching” — but not all details of physical abuse.

    Testifying Monday in Department 25 of Solano County Superior Court, the teenager, taking the witness stand on the sixth day of the trial for James Glenn Haskell, appeared to clearly recall significant instances of punishment and humiliations while living as an adopted child with the lawyer and his wife.

    The teen, responding to questions posed by Deputy District Attorney Shelly Moore, said “inappropriate touching” began shortly after she was adopted. She recalled that Haskell, at some point “almost every night,” would cuddle her as she lay on a couch, with her lying on her right side, his arm draped over. She was 11 going on 12 at the time, she said. (The Reporter typically does not identify victims of sexual assault.)

    Showing a document based on an interview with a Vacaville police detective, Moore refreshed the girl’s memory of Haskell’s “tickling game,” which was also carried out with her three siblings. At times, the defendant would allegedly tickle her on her thigh, “close to my vagina, but not on my vagina.”

    The teenager did at one point ask Haskell, 42, a former member of the Reynolds Law firm in Vacaville, to stop tickling her, saying he would become angry at “small things.” The touching, she added, “made me very uncomfortable.”

    Moore asked her to recall the first instance of when he assaulted her. It was in the family’s second home in Vacaville, when she was living with Haskell and his wife, Emily, who served as vice principal at a Fairfield elementary school and earlier taught at Padan Elementary in Vacaville.

    The girl said that while living in the second home, Haskell took away her smartphone as punishment for being in contact with a boy. Afterward, she added, he would hit her with a belt while he was “yelling a lot and screaming.” The belt spanking occurred “more than 20 times,” with the strikes on her rear and at least one on her head, causing some bruising, she said.

    At some point in February 2022, Haskell allegedly pushed her onto the home’s driveway, injuring an elbow that has a scar visible to this day.

    She said that during one summer, the Haskells took away all her clothes as punishment, giving her a garbage bag to wear.

    Now and then, she would glance at Haskell, bearded and seated at the defense table wearing a tie but no jacket over a white shirt with blue cross-striping, and rumpled blue slacks.

    And from time to time, Judge Janice M. Williams, who is presiding over the case, would cast a glance at the defendant, who faces 16 counts, felonies and misdemeanors, crimes that allegedly occurred between October 2018 and up until early 2022, according to court documents and testimony. The allegations include four felony sexual assaults.

    Haskell, seated next to Fairfield criminal defense attorney Thomas Maas, could be seen taking lots of notes during the girl’s testimony.

    Moore pointedly asked the girl if she ever got into trouble for lying. “Yes,” she said, adding that lying was one reason for suffering a spanking.

    In somewhat shocking testimony, she told Moore that Haskell, using two hands to grip her head, banged her head against the corner of a room wall, something that occurred “more than five times.”

    “It hurt really bad,” she said.

    “Did you tell him to stop?” Moore asked.

    “No,” she said.

    The yelling and screaming continued into her freshman year in high school and she became “scared” of James Haskell.

    She also recalled Haskell putting his hands around her throat, pushing up with one hand until “it was hard to breath” while continuing to yell at her, something that only happened once.

    At one point, Moore showed her photos of her spanking injuries taken in February 2022 after she reported the injuries to officials at her high school. She also said Haskell, in one instance, grabbed her by her hair, resulting in the loss of “clumps of hair.”

    For a time, she and her brother were not allowed to eat with the rest of the family and could only eat after they had finished eating. Haskell enforced that rule, she said. Also, there were some days that turned into weeks when she was given only oatmeal for breakast, lunch and dinner, she said.

    The girl also described being pushed into the family pool during winter. She was removed from the home on Feb. 3, 2022, but lived apart from her three siblings.

    She told investigators about the alleged abuse and inappropriate touching. She said she was reluctant to intially tell an adult about the touching, scared that “James might find out and I would die.” At that point she began to cry softly to herself.

    During the afternoon session, Maas continued to bear down on alleged conflicts and disagreements with James Haskell, including his refusal to return he cellphone for nine months.

    Maas, citing transcripts from her interviews with police investigators, asked, “Do you remember that you told the truth?” But she responded that she did not remember telling the truth. She also told investigators that Haskell never struck her with his fist.

    She continued to say she could not recall all the details of Haskell’s actions, including being unable to recall how may days she slept in the bathroom at night with her brother.

    Later, the girl began to sniffle and cry uncontrollably. Judge Williams then called for a 15-minute recess.

    To counter Moore’s allegations of child abuse, Maas called two county child welfare employees, one of them testifying that, during supervised visits in February 2022, the children “appeared to be happy” when meeting with Haskell and his wife, Emily.

    Besides using video recordings of interviews with the children, Maas also repeatedly referred to investigator reports, specifically what the children said, in an effort to weaken Moore’s case.

    Schilling admitted Maas was correct that, in the case of one child, she did not report the sexual abuse for fear of being returned to foster care.

    Haskell, reportedly now unemployed and living in Southern California, remained out of custody after posting $240,000 bail in May 2022.

    Moore filed an amended criminal complaint on Sept. 15, adding five more counts, including the four felony charges alleging sexual abuse and one misdemeanor charge alleging physical abuse of a young victim and three of the victim’s siblings.

    Court records show that Haskell was arrested by Solano County Sheriff’s deputies on a warrant issued May 3, 2022.

    He posted $170,000 bail on May 4, but court records also show that he was arrested again, on May 5, when he posted additional bail of $70,000, bringing the total to $240,000.

    If convicted at trial, besides the possibility of two life sentences, Haskell will be required to register as a sex offender.

    The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Department 23 in the Justice Center in Fairfield.

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    Witnesses describe Haskell's alleged sexual misconduct at wedding
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Vacaville Reporter
    Date published/accessed: 24 Apr 2024
    archive 1 | archive 2

    [Names in square brackets changed by FLOODLIT]

    A pair of witnesses in the child sexual assault trial of former Vacaville lawyer James Glenn Haskell described seeing the defendant settle a hand on his oldest adopted daughter’s buttocks at a wedding, with one saying the same behavior occurred “more than once” at his home.

    A witness for the prosecution on Wednesday, the trial’s eighth day, [Jennifer Jones], who knew Haskell and wife [Wendy] through attendance at a Vacaville Mormon Church, said she saw Haskell with his hand on the girl’s “rear end” for an estimated 10 to 15 minutes at the wedding of a friend. (The Reporter typically does not identify victims of sexual assaults or abuse.)

    “It seemed like a very long time,” [Jones] told Deputy District Attorney Shelly Moore, who leads the prosecution in Department 25 of Solano County Superior Court.

    “It seemed like a weird dynamic was going on,” added [Jones].

    Upon cross-examination by Haskell’s defense attorney, Thomas Maas, [Jones] also said the defendant’s hand shifted “a little” on the girl’s buttocks.

    The other prosecution witness, [Jill Smith], said toward the end of her testimony before a recess during the afternoon session that she thought Haskell’s behavior in those moments at the wedding was “unusual.”

    Also a member of the Mormon Church, she testified that she saw the same behavior during “frequent dinners” at the Haskell’s second home in Vacaville.

    And, responding to other questions Moore posed, [Smith] said she saw the oldest of three daughters sit on Haskell’s lap from time to time during visits to the family’s home.

    “Were Emily and the defendant affectionate?” asked Moore.

    “No,” [Smith] said firmly.

    Haskell faces 16 counts, felonies and misdemeanors, alleged crimes that occurred between October 2018 and up until early February 2022, according to court documents and testimony. The children eventually were removed the Haskell home. Additionally, allegations filed later in the case included four felony sexual assaults.

    Seated at the defense table, Haskell — sporting a dark brown beard and wearing a light blue shirt under a marine blue sweater over rumpled green trousers — again could be seen constantly taking notes during the testimony, as he did on Monday and Tuesday.

    Some of the afternoon’s most surprising testimony came when Moore asked her about alleged abuse of some of the other adopted Haskell children.

    [Smith] said she was at a children’s pinata party and when the pinata burst, the candy tumbled out, and Haskell’s young son began picking up some of the candy when he “hit his son on the head with his fist.”

    Maas objected and asked Judge Janice M. Williams, who is presiding over the trial, to discuss “permissible” witness testimony.

    Out of the presence of the jury, he believed that Moore was getting her witnesses to testify about information not related to the charges, describing some witness statements as allusions to “uncharged conduct.”

    He cited Evidence Code sections 1108 and 1109, which permit the introduction of evidence of prior acts to show an inclination, or a tendency, where defendants are charged with sexual offenses, domestic violence, adult or dependent abuse, and child abuse.

    However, Maas asserted that such testimony, unrelated to prior agreed-upon courtroom procedures, was “getting to the point that it’s violating my client’s constitutional rights.” He said the statements violated Section 402 of the Evidence Code, that is, hearings for preliminary fact-findings to decide the admissibility of evidence.

    But Moore said her lines of inquiry in those moments were prompted because the defense was portraying Haskell “as a reasonable disciplinarian.”

    With the jury called back into the courtroom, [Smith] said she was aware that two of Haskell’s children, the second-oldest daughter and son, were forced to sleep in the bathroom “as a form of punishment” for bed-wetting.

    Additionally, she once saw Haskell “drag” his son by the ear “because he dropped something” and also, on another occasion, pull the boy by the hair. The second-oldest daughter and son “were always facing punishments of some sort,” she said.

    At one point, [Smith] referred to a “really nasty” abrasion on the second-oldest daughter’s elbow, characterizing it as “like a nasty scab.” Moore then showed her a photo of the girl’s elbow, an injury that occurred when Haskell allegedly pushed her onto a driveway.

    She also said she had a conversation with Haskell after the children were removed from the Haskell’s’ home, a meeting that occurred in his law office at the Reynolds Law firm in Vacaville.

    The conversation focused on the oldest daughter who was about to turn 18 and would be no longer subject to the state’s foster program if she chose to strike out on her own.

    Haskell, said [Smith] was jealous that that daughter was spending time with her boyfriend and also said Haskell told her that he and the oldest daughter did not have a “traditional father-daughter relationship.”

    She also met with the oldest daughter later at a local restaurant. The girl then disclosed some of the sexual assault allegations.

    “Were you shocked by this information?” asked Moore.

    “Yeah,” [Smith] said slowly in a somewhat whisper-like tone. She also said that she told the girl, “We have to tell someone.”

    That someone was a social worker who then called the police.

    Afterward, [Smith] said she participated in a “pretext call” with Haskell. Such calls are a tape-recorded call between two people, usually between a victim of a crime and the suspect of that crime, done under the supervision of law enforcement.

    During the midafternoon, Moore and a Sheriff detective prepared the recording to be heard by the jury.

    If convicted, Haskell faces two life prison terms and will be required to register as a sex offender.

    The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the Justice Center in Fairfield and is expected to last at least another week.

  • back to online sources list
    Bay Area attorney on trial for child sexual assaults is found not guilty on 16 of 17 counts, with jurors hung on one
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: East Bay Times
    Date published/accessed: 14 Jun 2024
    archive 1 | archive 2

    In a steady rhythm and loud voice, the court clerk in Department 25 of Solano County Superior Court said, “Not guilty,” to 16 of 17 counts against former Vacaville attorney James Glenn Haskell.

    The most serious charges included several felony sexual assaults on a child and lewd and lascivious acts on a child, but the jury of six men and six women, after a nine-week trial and nearly four days of deliberations, ruled on Thursday afternoon that the 42-year-old lawyer and former Mormon bishop did not do what the prosecutor said he did.

    However, jurors deadlocked on Count 10, felony injury upon a child, and Judge Janice M. Williams, who presided over the case since mid-April, ordered Haskell, Deputy District Attorney Shelly Moore and Haskell’s attorney, Thomas Maas, to return for a hearing on the matter at 8:30 a.m. July 15 in the Justice Center in Fairfield.

    Maas, a well-known criminal defense attorney in Fairfield, was not present for the jury verdict. Daniel Russo, a Vallejo-based criminal defense attorney, represented Haskell during the 30-minute hearing. Throughout the verdict-reading, Russo, seated at the defense table, could be seen texting while Haskell stared straight ahead.

    As the jury verdicts were read, Haskell dressed in a light-blue shirt and tie over dark, rumpled slacks, began to tear up. When the proceeding ended, he stood up and began to weep audibly and embraced a member of his defense team. He also was greeted by a sister, who attended some of the trial days.

    Russo asked the judge if Haskell, a former employee of Reynolds Law who now lives in San Marcos, could be released from wearing an ankle monitor and for the return of his passport. Williams ruled the ankle monitor could come off but did not agree to the return of Haskell’s passport.

    With the jury verdict, Haskell — who was charged with crimes for between October 2018 and up until early February 2022, when his four adopted children were removed from the Vacaville home he shared with wife Emily — avoided the possibility of receiving two life sentences had the verdicts gone against him.

    Haskell, who now lives in San Marcos, remained out of custody on bail during the trial. He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and spent more than four days on the witness stand, widely regarded in most legal circles as a risky move by a defense counsel.

    The verdicts clearly surprised many in the public gallery and those watching via Zoom. They included relatives and at least one of Haskell’s former children, a victim, the oldest of three daughters who was in the courtroom. She could be seen crying in the hallway outside the courtroom following the hearing. At least two others close to the case or who knew the Haskell family could be heard cursing the verdict as they stood in the hallway.

    After Haskell’s arrest in early 2022, Moore filed additional allegations in September 2022 based on Solano County Sheriff investigators’ findings. They included four felony counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object while the victim, the oldest of three daughters, was unaware.

    Among the other counts listed in the charging documents were two felony charges for inflicting injury on a child and misdemeanor charges of willful cruelty to a child, including severe beatings with a leather belt that left bruises and forcing two of the children to sleep on a bathroom floor as punishment, including bed-wetting by Haskell’s son. (The Reporter typically does not identify victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault.)

    During his closing argument on June 3 and continuing the next day, Maas repeatedly noted the differences between what the three children, the boy and the two older daughters, told investigators and their courtroom testimony.

    He advised the jurors to adhere to jury instructions about the credibility, or believability, of the witnesses in deciding whether their testimony was true and accurate, whether they admitted to being untruthful, and to use common sense.

    In her rebuttal to defense attorney Thomas Maas’ closing argument, Moore asserted Haskell “dehumanized” the three minor children, and played a secretly recorded call for jurors, a major piece of evidence for the prosecution.

    Haskell, she said, “never denied” in the phone call committing sex assaults on oldest daughter, crimes that allegedly lasted almost nightly on the family couch for two years.

    In the call, a so-called “pretext call,” made by family friend Desire Dominique for Solano County Sheriff investigators, jurors could hear her say, “You touched her private area,” the words displayed on a large monitor directly across from the jury box.

    Jurors also heard Haskell saying, “There’s absolutely no touching going forward” and “The message is received. Her wishes will be respected,” referring to the oldest daughter. At a meeting in a Fairfield restaurant in March 2022, she told Dominique about the alleged frequent sexual contact with her adopted father that began when she was 16 and continued after she turned 17 and nearly 18, when she left Haskell’s home.

    In those moments, Haskell could be heard on the recording catching his breath periodically and pausing for several seconds between statements.

    Of “characters letters” written on behalf of Haskell after he was arrested some weeks after the children were removed from the home, Moore noted that, in one, Haskell was described as “a pillar of the community.”

    “He’s not father of the year,” Moore said later in her rebuttal.

    Haskell’s acquittal on the 16 counts comes as his brother, Ronald Lee Haskell Jr., 43, remains on Death Row in Texas for fatally shooting, execution-style, six members of his ex-wife’s family on July 9, 2014, in an area outside of Houston.

    After a trial, which made national news, Ronald Haskell was found guilty of capital murder on Sept. 26, 2019, and was sentenced to death by lethal injection on Oct. 11.

    James Haskell’s acquittal also comes as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento, Phillip A. Talbert, said in a press statement issued Thursday that child sexual exploitation and abuse was “a growing epidemic.”

Videos: James Haskell Mormon sex crime case

    • Video title: Vacaville attorney accused of several sex crimes involving children - FOX 40 News - 2022-05-11
    • Video description: Jeannie Nguyen reports.

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