Grisham: Part Two

[Content Note: Rape culture; child sex abuse; exploitation. Part One is here.]

As many of us suspected, author John Grisham's characterization of his friend's arrest for ch1ld p0rn0graphy was profoundly misleading:
The friend in question is presumed to be Michael B. Holleman, a Mississippi lawyer who was first identified by the Salon website, and was sentenced to 18 months in 1998 for "sending and receiving" ch1ld p0rn0graphy.

However unseen newspaper reports of Mr Holleman's trial in 1997 obtained by the Telegraph from the local Sun Herald newspaper paint a far more serious picture of the case than Mr Grisham.

"An undercover agent who asked for some of Holleman's pictures over the Internet earlier this year received 13 images, all of children under 18, some under 12. They depicted children during sexually explicit conduct, including [rape]," said the report from November 1997, quoting a US justice department lawyer, Kathy McLure.
Holleman pleaded guilty after being caught, and served 15 months of an 18 month sentence. He is now back to practicing law.
His law licence was reinstated at a hearing of the Supreme Court of Mississippi in June 2002 after the court decided that notwithstanding "the seriousness of Holleman's crime" he had "rehabilitated himself and possesses the requisite moral character to entitle him to conditional reinstatement".

According to a record of the hearing Mr Holleman's petition for reinstatement was supported by some 60 letters of recommendation, including testimonials from Mr Grisham and two other members of the Class of 1981 from Mississippi School of Law.
So, either Grisham did not bother to actually learn the details of Holleman's crimes before writing a letter of recommendation on his behalf, or he did learn them but didn't care and went on to publicly mischaracterize them in defense of "sixty-year-old white men in prison who've never harmed anybody," who are unfairly persecuted, and prosecuted.

And let us all take a moment to appreciate the irony that Grisham imagines that these men's lives are being ruined by malicious over-prosecution and harsh sentencing, when his pal is back to practicing law.

Grisham was essentially arguing that a hiccup in one's career is too steep a price for a white man to pay, for participating in the sexual exploitation of children.

[H/T to Aphra_Behn.]

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