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Restraining Orders and "Protective" Orders Are Abused More than Used TO Help

  As one of his first acts since becoming commandant of the Pikes Peak detachment of the Marine Corps League (MCL), Jim Woods today denied the right of Marines to be heard on violations of their Constitutional rights. At issue was the case of MCL Life Member Robert Alvarez, Gulf 1 veteran and former Paymaster for the Pikes Peak detachment, who has been the subject of repeated false allegations of domestic violence and abuse since his wife began an affair sometime in early 2005.
    As one result of his wife's adultery, former Marine Alvarez was arrested on June 23, 2005, and charged with domestic violence involving reckless endangerment, knowingly and recklessly endangering a child, disorderly conduct by making offensive gestures (misdemeanors), and causing emotional distress by stalking (a felony).  Those charges were dismissed when Bob, a long-time member of the EJF refused to take a plea bargain.
    In a pattern familiar to most of you, on October 25, 2005, Bob was again arrested and charged with domestic violence involving menacing, assault, cruelty toward a child, disorderly conduct (misdemeanors), and felony stalking. Those charges, obviously brought by his wife to gain advantage in a custody dispute, were also dismissed.
     Having failed to make the allegations of criminal domestic violence stick, his wife then filed a temporary domestic abuse protection civil order against him through TESSA. Such temporary orders are routinely granted ex parte to women without any chance for a man to defend himself. Unfortunately, Mr. Alvarez's attorney failed to show up for the hearing on making the protection order permanent. Without adequate counsel at this hearing a permanent protection order was entered against Bob. In Colorado such orders are for life and no modification can be requested for at least four years.
     The Alvarez's have two boys, now 6 and 9, that Bob continued to try and visit.  It was inevitable that his wife would find reasons to accuse him of violating the order. As many of you have experienced in similar situations, Bob was arrested for violating a protection order on November 30, 2005, April 5, 2006, and again on June 7, 2006. With each arrest he spent from one day to a week in jail. He then made another mistake by accepting a plea bargain on the violation of a protection order charge, for which he received the standard sentence of 2-years probation and 36-weeks DV treatment classes.
     Note that the only violence in the Alvarez relationship was by his wife, who also had a prior DV conviction when she was a student at CSU in Fort Collins. His "violation" of the protection order amounted to sending an email attempting to settle divorce issues and helping his sons send their mother a Mother's Day card.
     Alvarez followed court orders and signed up for DV treatment but, like many of you, received an ideological rant rather than therapy.  He also had the temerity to object to the requirement that he read man-hating propaganda by radical feminist Andrea Dworkin as part of his "treatment." As a result, after just eight sessions the DV treatment provider referred him back to court with the recommendation that his parole be revoked.  A hearing on that was held November 14, 2007, which I attended, in the court of El Paso County judge Barney Iuppa. Clearly, Bob Alvarez was attending and participating in the treatment, and his payments were current. Therefore, there was no basis for revoking his parole. Nonetheless, Iuppa continued the hearing until January 9, 2007.
     I had hoped to seek the assistance of the Pikes Peak MCL detachment for Alvarez at the December 2006 meeting but my son, a disabled Marine veteran, had knee surgery at the Denver VA Hospital the day before and it was late at night before I got home. Thus, I didn't make the MCL meeting the next morning and was unable to directly seek support for Alvarez before Jim Woods was elected detachment commandant.
     At the January 9, 2007, continuation hearing, testimony by the DV "treatment" provider clearly showed that Alvarez was attending the sessions and making progress. Incredibly, in what was a foregone conclusion as deputies arrived to arrest Bob at the beginning of an hour-and-a-half hearing, judge Iuppa sentenced Bob to one year in the county jail on the basis that he "needs a serious attitude adjustment." (Iuppa's sentencing statement from transcript)
     After spending 32 days in jail, another hearing was held February 9, 2007 on a motion for reconsideration.  I was in Utah attending my mother's funeral and was unable to attend that hearing but other members of the MCL Pikes Peak detachment did attend as courtwatchers.  At the conclusion of that hearing Alvarez was released from jail, his probation revoked, and he was then sentenced to five months house arrest with electronic (GPS) monitoring.
     Note that the only "crime" committed in this tragedy is adultery by Bob's wife, for which she was terminated from her BATFE agent position. However, Bob has been forced from the house he built, all but lost the small business he operated, has lost virtually all his assets, is forbidden by Colorado law from having primary custody of his children, must now pay child support, has lost his gun rights for life, has spent far in excess of $100,000 for inept legal counsel, and been sentenced to one year in jail for an "attitude adjustment." Perhaps there is a civil liberty of Marine Alvarez that has not yet been violated but I am at a loss as to what that might be?
     As it has been more than 50 years since I took an oath to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic," maybe Marines do something different today? But in my time, Marines stood together and never left a fellow Marine behind.
    Apparently Jim Woods regards the defense of Constitutional liberties as a "pet project"  rather than something Marines should be concerned about. One assumes that under his "leadership" the Pikes Peak MCL detachment will continue its past policy of supporting redfem groups like TESSA, who work to destroy the careers of at least a battalion (~1,000) of military men every year in the Colorado Springs area with false allegations similar to the ones levied against Bob Alvarez.
    For any of the many present and former military men and women on this mailing list, and all the others who would like to express their assessment and outrage against a veteran's group refusing to support its member's Constitutional rights and, instead, providing financial support to redfem groups who are actively working to destroy military careers and families and marriages, may I suggest you email your statements to Jim Woods mailto:jimw12152@aol.com or simply Reply All to this message.
     Bob Alvarez is also happy to answer any questions you may have about his case or the injustices inflicted upon him despite, or perhaps because of his honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. His email address is mailto:rb-alvarez@adelphia.net.
     Semper Fi(?) Mr. Woods. Until I met you I thought it meant something!
Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.