A Milwaukee judge, a lawyer and a prosecutor relied on false accusations of mental illness to conceal misconduct at a rigged trial.  Judge David Hansher,    Attorney Martin Kohler and Prosecutor Fred Matestic colluded to conceal child abuse.

(Interpol letter confirming removal of false information provided by Milwaukee lawyers to the U.S. government)


Among the weakest, most vulnerable individuals in a community are those suffering with poor mental health. Merely labelling a person as “suffering mental health issues” will place that person in a disadvantaged category, in particular when a lawyer challenges the reliability of information that the labelled person may provide.

Mental illness is easy to exploit. Those who do so, however, show us their character. Undermining the credibility of a person labelled “mentally ill,” is a simple task, especially for an exploitative, corrupt, unethical lawyer … or lawyers.

This essay/blog exposes Milwaukee Defence Lawyer Martin Kohler, former prosecutor Fred Matestic and Judge David Hansher to be of poor character … and also criminally inclined. There is an encore performance by Lawyer Robert Elliott.

A rigged, corrupt trial was held in Milwaukee some time ago. The trial was presided over by Judge David Hansher. Hansher insisted that Defense Lawyer Martin Kohler extract a plea bargain from a defendant. That defendant had evidence of serious child abuse. Hansher did not want the case exposed in his courtroom. But after 18 months of intense, coercive effort, Kohler failed to obtain a plea from his client. The defendant wanted a trial to expose the abuse of his child and the abuser.

The exact details of the trial and its run-up have been presented previously in the book Beyond Outrage (www.beyond-outrage.com) and in Lawyers Broken Bad (www.lawyersbrokenbad.com), and at Blog: www.markinglin.com.

The corrupt trial in Milwaukee included the intimidation of witnesses, the concealment of medical reports and the failure to provide a list of defence witnesses to the court, thereby preventing the appearance of any defence witnesses.

The trial was a legal catastrophe. It violated any sense of fairness or faith in the American system of jury trials. It might seem obvious that, if this were the case, it would have been exposed and reported by local media, and that an appeal would easily have prevailed. But not so.

The legal appeal was handled by Lawyer Steve Glynn. After making the requisite promises to expose the legal violations, however, he stepped back. He reneged at the last minute. He shifted the appeal to a “technical issue” that he claimed would prevail. None of the misconduct by Kohler or the prosecutor were revealed; the appeal failed. Glynn did, however, prevent blame attributed to colleagues with whom he worked and would work in the future.

Does it make career sense to be a whistleblower in a community where you will be working and require the cooperation of colleagues? A lawyer’s client is a one-time affair. The lawyer’s work environment lasts a lifetime. If a lawyer is going to whistleblow in his own backyard, he needs to be prepared for ostracism or to move.

What about local media? They ignored the story. Why? Journalists also make a living in a local work environment. That environment persists after any one particular story has disappeared. One story does not (usually) make a career. A local journalist reporting the story presented here could have found him/herself locked out of future stories from within the lawyer circle. It takes courage to expose circumstances that can disturb the local hierarchy. Hansher, Kohler and the prosecution did not lack for influence in Milwaukee.

Such courage among journalists was lacking.

The defendant, however, went on expose the extreme lawyer/judge wrongdoing in publications. To protect themselves from what they had deliberately done, to conceal the wrongdoing, Hansher, Kohler and Matestic embarked on the strategy of undermining the messenger through false accusations of mental illness. The accusations included psychosis.

The defendant, they claimed, had made up the story of abuse from whole cloth.

Prosecutor Matestic set the stage by informing the jury that the defendant had claimed child abuse but had presented no witnesses and no evidence of such. Thus, his summarised, the defendant was a malicious fabulist, a liar and mentally ill or “frail,” as Hansher preferred.

All the while Prosecutor Matestic knew that Attorney Kohler had failed to provide a witness list to the court, thereby making it impossible for defence witnesses to appear. Moreover, in the 18 month run up to the trial, there had been no reference to mental illness but rather copious references to doctor visits and court hearings on the abuse. There had been years of efforts by the defendant to have the abuse stop.

Despite all of this, Prosecutor Matestic intentionally misled the jury.

There was one major problem related to the accusation of mental illness. Three court-appointed psychologists disagreed. One, in fact, gave the opinion that the defendant was truthful and sincere in fighting to stop the abuse of his child. More importantly, all three reports claimed the defendant suffered no mental impairment, issues or illness at all. There was thus no need for medication and no need for counselling.

These facts worked mightily against Hansher, Kohler and Matestic.

How did Hansher, Kohler and Matestic square this circle? Two of the favourable mental health reports, by Dr. Ken Diamond and Dr. I. Matusiak, were altered to state the opposite of the original reports and were then submitted to the courts as official reports. When a third psychologist concurred with the original reports by the other two psychologists, she also informed the probation officer in the case, Mr. Cordell Wilson, that the reports submitted to the Milwaukee courts were false and misleading.

But Officer Cordell Wilson refused to act on the information. The falsified reports remained the official reports in his files and in the court record.

The above is described in greater detail in the two books mentioned above, and in other parts of this blog.

Hansher, Kohler and Matestic had good reason to fear the original psychological reports. They had no other means to conceal their criminal conduct. Nothing the defendant said, they claimed, could be trusted.

Hansher had wagered heavily on the plea bargain. Kohler was permitted to threaten the defendant with five years hard time in Waupun Correctional Institute if he went to trial. When the defendant refused the plea-bargain, Kohler sought revenge through client betrayal in the courtroom.

Matestic simply went along with Kohler and Hansher because he was and remains a weak-willed man. It ,benefitted all three to maintain the accusation of mental illness.

Lawyer Robert Elliott was then hired by Lawyer Kohler to defend Kohler from accusations in publications by the defendant, exposing the truth. Elliott readily participated in spreading rumours about the defendants mental health. Moreover, Matestic’s wife, Mary Matestic, helped spread the rumours, all with the intention of sparing the careers and reputations of people who mattered more than an abused child.

Some may see irony in the fact that both Mary and Fred are highly active as devout Catholics, whereby that church itself struggles mightily with issues of child abuse and concealment thereof.

Someone – we can only guess who – was so concerned about this story reaching the public that they provided false information to the U.S. government, which then provided that false information to Interpol, the International Police Organisation. That information claimed that the defendant was “mentally ill” and “armed and dangerous,” both of which were fabricated to take the pressure off Hansher, Kohler and Matestic. But when Interpol carried out their own investigation they concluded that the information provided by the U.S. government was bogus. Their letter renouncing the validity of that false information can be seen above.

This story causes cognitive dissonance. It is more comfortable to imagine that it never actually happened. This is not how anyone envisions the American legal system, which may be why it was so easy for Hansher, Kohler and Matestic to get away with this travesty of justice.

Regarding mental health, the question can be raised, what is the mental state of the four people mentioned above, all lawyers? Lies and denial may not constitute medically recognised mental pathology, but they surely do not exemplify outstanding mental health.

This story seems more like what we accuse China of. Yet the Chinese people themselves never imagine that the American legal system could be this corrupt. In fact, it can be credibly argued that the described trial might not have been as easy to perpetrate under Chinese law. The Chinese people have high regard for the family and for children.

There is a blog discussing this case available in China, at the platform Zhihu.com : https://www.zhihu.com/people/sophia-39-90-90.

Sad commentary that the people of China can read about corruption in the USA legal system, while the people of Milwaukee hear nothing from their own major media sources.


mark inglin
Zermatt Switzerland


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