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Victim Fails to Pierce Prosecutor's Immunity Shield

Gabrielle Jameson, who was sexually assaulted in 2019 at age 16 and is now 20, claims a prosecutor misled her and the judge prior to the sentencing. But her efforts to hold the prosecutor accountable have run into a roadblock at Louisiana's highest court, which says longstanding court doctrine immunizes prosecutors from civil liability, the Associated Press reports. Jameson says she made clear to Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover in St. Tammany Parish that she wanted Jeremy Schake, 27, to spend a full year in prison as part of a deal in which Schake pleaded guilty to a sex crime involving a juvenile, but Judge William Burris, who sentenced Schake to probation in 2021 and required him to register as a sex offender, later insisted he never got that message.

The judge and Jameson’s attorney said her victim impact statement was emotional and moving in court when it came time for Schake to be sentenced. She was angered when Burris let Schake walk, especially after having told Dover that Schake should go to prison. “I said I wanted him to have one year of jail time — not five years, not 10 years,” Jameson said. “Three hundred sixty-five days so he could, hopefully, be rehabilitated in some way, shape or form, so he wouldn’t hurt other people.” In court documents responding to a lawsuit filed by Jameson and her parents, Dover and District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office have not directly addressed the issue of whether Dover misled Burris or Jameson prior to Schake’s sentencing. Both a state district judge and an appeals court rejected the idea that the doctrine applied in the Jameson suit. But a divided state Supreme Court decided otherwise. Jameson's attorney, Tony Le Mon, recently asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its own ruling. The court rarely grants such motions.


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