Over a year ago, in the Nov. 4, 2015 edition of the Islands’ Sounder, appeared the headline “Orcas High School teacher charged with sexual misconduct.” At the time, I was astonished to see the teacher mentioned by name in the lead paragraph. In a subsequent article on Sept. 20, 2016 the headline was “Former teacher convicted of sexual misconduct granted a new trial” when “Dr. Gerald Grellet-Tinner granted a new trial” would have sufficed.
I can certainly understand the inclination to sympathize with the student in this case, especially considering the long, sinuous, uphill road it has been for women to achieve sexual equality.
That said, it has also opened the door for less scrupulous individuals with their own agenda to take advantage of the gains made by those courageous women who preceded them.
It was last reported in the Sounder that a new trial would take place on Dec. 5, 2016. The decision for a new trial was granted primarily due to the revelations in the Sigman report. However, when the prosecutor appealed that decision, Judge Eaton lost jurisdiction to the Court of Appeals.
As it stands now, because of the current Court of Appeals caseload, it is my understanding that the Court will most likely not make a decision until at least the end of 2017.
With the revelations during the trial and the subsequent Sigman report, it becomes apparent there is more than one interested party who would benefit from the allegations and subsequent trial of Dr. Grellet-Tinner. Add to this an estranged wife plus the state expert’s response to questions raised by the defense counsel regarding the DNA specimen, and it becomes evident there are other critical avenues to explore regarding the physical evidence.
It has already been established by the defense that the undocumented student, far from being naive, was well aware of the accrued advantages to be gained under the provisions of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. As a consequence of this trial she can now enjoy protected immigrant status with the possibility of attaining a green card.
Whereas, Dr. Grellet-Tinner has lost his employment, spent three months in jail, been severely impacted financially and has had virtually all future career avenues jeopardized.
The trial’s title is “The State of Washington vs. Gerald Grellet-Tinner,” which carries a felony conviction for a breach of trust between teacher and student. This isn’t justice; it’s a travesty.
Dr. Grellet-Tinner has maintained his innocence from the beginning. It is my opinion that had there been a proper, unbiased investigation, this case would never have gone to trial.
According to Wiki, as of October 2013, the US had the highest incarceration rate in the world (716 per 100,000). It seems to me that, increasingly, the justice system in this country is more interested in the augmentation/expansion of the prison industrial complex than protecting the rights of its citizens.
It remains to be seen just who the victim is in this case.