Protect the rich? Woman sentenced for secretly recording minor for sexual gratification, but case details ‘unexpectedly sealed’

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Greenwich, CT: Hadley Palmer, 54, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was sentenced to one year in jail for secretly recording three people, including a minor, in a crime fueled by perversion and sexual desires.

Judge John Blawie ordered that Palmer’s case file remain sealed, shielding the specifics of the charges from public view.

Judge Blawie, who had previously sealed Palmer’s case file earlier this year despite objections from The Associated Press, reaffirmed his decision on Tuesday. The judge ruled that the arrest warrant and its details remain inaccessible to the public.

Judge Blawie determined that the victims’ privacy should be prioritized over the public’s desire to view the case documents, and that it was not practical enough to obscure the documents to safely protect the victims’ identities.

The Associated Press, however, argued that in other similar sex crime cases, documents have been redacted to a degree considered acceptable, and this should be no different.

Protect the rich?  Woman sentenced for secretly recording minor for sexual gratification, but case details 'unexpectedly sealed'
Did this pervert get preferential treatment because of her wealth? Some think so. Image courtesy of the CT DOC.

 

The Case

Palmer, who’s in the midst of a divorce from her venture capitalist husband, Bradley Palmer, has been spotted at various fundraising galas and other social events. The plea bargain she accepted stipulates that she must register as a sex offender for 10 years and serve 20 years of probation after her jail sentence.

It’s a decision that has been met with surprise from open government advocates and defense lawyers not involved in the case. There is concern from the public that she may have been given a lighter sentence than many others in similar cases, but the reasons remain unclear.

It very well could be a case of ‘it’s who you know.’

In January, Palmer pleaded guilty to three counts of voyeurism and one count of risk of injury to a minor. All felonies being committed between 2017 and 2018. She had already served 90 days in jail earlier this year, as part of a plea bargain with a sentencing range of 90 days to five years in prison.

However, State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek revealed Tuesday that the victims had been video recorded without their knowledge or consent, in various stages of undress, including fully naked, for Palmer and an unnamed third person’s sexual gratification.

Protect the rich?  Woman sentenced for secretly recording minor for sexual gratification, but case details 'unexpectedly sealed'

Michael Meehan, Palmer’s lawyer, called the sentence just. He stated:

“She’s taken responsibility for her actions. This is a very caring, loving and sincere human being.”

No one’s arguing she wasn’t loving- just loving a little bit too much.

Ferencek also said the victims did not want Palmer to serve more time in jail than she already had, and Blawie accepted the plea bargain, stating:

“Make no mistake, the defendant is paying a price for her actions.”

Palmer applied for a special probation program on the day of her arrest, which would have resulted in the sealing of her case file. However, due to the severity of two of the original charges, she was ineligible for the program and the charges were dropped as part of the plea bargain.

Close up on the scales of justice
Adobe stock

Palmer withdrew her application for probation, and her lawyers requested the courtroom be closed during sentencing, though they later withdrew this request. Blawie kept the case file sealed from the public, which was unusual and opposed by the AP.

The mysteriousness of Palmer’s crimes was further heightened by the fact that her name and court case numbers would often vanish from the state court system’s website in the months after her arrest.

Her name and case numbers only appearing on the days she was due in court, unlike other cases that were listed daily and involved the probation program. This even left court officials confused as to why Palmer’s information had disappeared.

In Connecticut, weekly court proceedings involving sex offenses and offenses against minors are typically open to the public, with arrest warrants containing the particulars of the accusations available for viewing, albeit with the victims’ identities concealed.

The whole case smells funny, but as of now, nobody will know the true story, expect for Palmer.

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Protect the rich?  Woman sentenced for secretly recording minor for sexual gratification, but case details 'unexpectedly sealed'

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