Reddy must pay for his crimes
The Daily Planet received the following letter addressed to the judge presiding over the Lakireddy Bali Reddy case. Reddy has been found guilty of sex, tax and immigration offenses. He is to be sentenced Tuesday.
Dear Judge Armstrong:
I am writing to implore you to ignore the prosecutors’ recommendation that Lakireddy Bali Reddy receive the outrageously minimal sentence of only 5 to 6.5 years in prison, and that he pay only $2 million in restitution to three surviving victims and the parents of the dead girl for his many heinous crimes.
I consider it a disgrace that Reddy was permitted to get away with only pleading guilty to “two counts of transporting minors for illegal sexual activity, one count of conspiring to commit immigration fraud and one of filing a false tax return”!
Even the logic of pleading guilty to two counts of transporting minors for so-called illegal sexual activity, yet paying restitution to three surviving victims and the parents of a fourth victim who died, makes no sense.
The recommended sentence is scandalous - a mere rap on the knuckles for Reddy - whose property holdings alone are worth more than $50 million. It is ludicrous and completely unjust that Reddy could get the same 5-year sentence recommended for Venkateswara Vemireddy for being solicited by Reddy for posing as the two sisters’ father to enable their illegal entry into the United States. This is an example of a flagrantly unjust double standard of justice - one for the rich and powerful and another for everyone else.
I understand that 38 years is the maximum prison sentence permitted for the crimes to which Reddy pleaded guilty. I beg you to exercise your prerogative to sentence Reddy on June 19, 2001, to this maximum number of years of incarceration. Even if you do so, Reddy will still not have been held accountable for the rape of young girls and the death of Chanti because he hasn’t been prosecuted for these crimes. In short, Reddy has been permitted by the legal system to get away with the rape of at least 15 minors (the number cited in the press in the context of the civil case that will be occurring in the future), and possibly with the murder of one of them!
Following is a summary of my views of Reddy and his crimes:
• Reddy is a slave trader and trafficker of impoverished girls from India for so-called “illegal sexual activity” (i.e., rape) and cheap or unpaid labor.
• Reddy is a practicing pedophile and a serial rapist of young women and underage girls in Berkeley for almost 15 years, and additional years in India.
• Reddy is guilty of negligent homicide for not repairing the gas leak in one of his apartments where he had housed three of his sex slaves, causing the death of one and the severe carbon monoxide poisoning of another.
Finally, you should be aware that the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution Dec. 19, 2000 supporting Women Against Sexual Slavery’s boycott of Reddy’s Pasand restaurant in downtown Berkeley, as well as resolving:
“that the Council of the City of Berkeley supports strong sentencing for cases involving trafficking of women and children due to the serious human rights violations and unethical, inhumane treatment toward women and children.”
Please bear in mind this resolution by the elected representatives of Berkeley - including the mayor - as well as my views when you decide on Reddy’s sentence .
Diana E. H. Russell, Ph.D.
Member of Women Against Sexual Slavery
Bush has some good news for all of us
We haven’t had much good economic news in California recently, which is why it was particularly gratifying to watch President George W. Bush take pen in hand and affix his signature to a $1.35 trillion dollar tax cut.
Only 125 days into office and the President has pushed through a bipartisan tax cut that slashes taxes across the board for every single tax paying American. That kind of all-inclusive tax cut hasn’t taken place since Ronald Reagan provided similar relief to the taxpayers.
President Bush told us during the campaign that he was going to lower our taxes, and now he has. He also told us he was going to change the tone in Washington, and he is doing that as well.
The president signed this tax cut flanked by both Republicans and Democrats providing a model for bipartisan government that is void of mean spirited politics.
The President honed his approach to open honest bipartisan politics as the successful governor of a large state, Texas. He demonstrated that an effective chief executive could extend a hand across the aisle and forge solutions for the good of the citizens.
The President gave credit for this tax relief bill to both Republicans and Democrats.
How refreshing to have a President who isn’t worried about who gets the credit, but is more interested in real results.
Our governor, Gray Davis, could take a few lessons from President Bush.
Davis’ response to our state’s energy crisis as been to try to assign blame instead of implementing solutions.
Instead of marshalling the resources of his office toward solving the energy supply shortage by using his emergency powers to expedite the construction of power plants; Davis is using taxpayer dollars to hire the “spin doctors” who handled the Whitewater and Lewinsky
scandals in the Clinton White House. This commitment to place politics above governing threatens California’s future.
The great irony for Davis is that as he points his blaming finger at others an examination of the facts turns the wagging finger back at the Governor himself.
Last month, Davis appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and claimed that the state’s utilities could have secured long-term power contracts last year at low prices, but they refused to do so.
Davis is either misleading the public or he does not grasp reality.
The reality is, both of the major utilities had asked the Public Utilities Commission for the ability to secure long-term contracts and avert the current crisis. The chairwoman of the PUC, a former Clinton White House lawyer assigned to scandal control and appointed by Davis, blocked such
contracts. Furthermore, Davis could have exercised his authority to allow those contracts and he refused to do so.
If Gray Davis had shown even the smallest amount of decisive leadership last year, we likely wouldn’t be facing a summer of blackouts and state budget deficits.
Now, the man who created this mess is obsessed with blaming President Bush. Shameful.
Meanwhile, as gasoline prices skyrocket, Davis has proposed a state budget that raises the sales tax on goods, including fuel, by a quarter cent.
Davis is turning into the worst kind of politician. He’s obsessed with his own political fortunes. He’s afraid to make decisions that aren’t guided by pollsters. The net results have been an electrical crisis, escalating electricity rates and now higher taxes.
George Bush’s tax rebate will arrive just in time for Californians to pay for the higher costs of living that Gray Davis is imposing upon us. The Bush dividend will unfortunately have to be a down payment on for your Davis tax!