This is a email exchange between King County Prosecuting Attorney Senior Deputy David Martin and Domestic Violence Treatment Provider Doug Bartholomew.
From: Martin, David
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 10:51 PM
To: Doug Bartholomew
Subject: RE: Gary Ruffcorn
Gary is the poster child for sentencing reform. Unfortunately, I dealt with this son as well (also with a troubling history of DV) before his passing. With each of them law enforcement had serious safety concerns (not surprising given how Gary’s son passed). I would not spend too much time contemplating Gary. We can help make people safer, we dont make them safe.
I know there are many areas of agreement in how to move forward in DV. Its not easy but I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and ideas. I dont have all or even some of the answers, but I feel as though things have changed. I guess we will see what the legislative session brings.
David D. Martin
Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
Chair, Domestic Violence Unit
From: Doug Bartholomew [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wed 12/2/2009 10:38 PM
To: Martin, David
Subject: Gary Ruffcorn
Well, crow is a meal best eaten cold. And karma is a …
I was looking something up this evening and stumbled upon your article about tougher sentencing guidelines. I would like to say I have an excuse for what Gary did. The pictures were horrible. He was one of mine in 2006. He did what he was supposed to do and I truely believe he was sincere. I don’t know what I would have done differently. He was an old dog. But it still is a failure, and one in which someone got horribly hurt.
At the same time as he was in group I had a cop in the group which met right before his. One day the early group was late and Gary was already in the waiting room. The cop took one look at Gary and came back into the therapy room and said “you’re in over your head, and I want to be on a different night because I don’t even want to be in the same building as him.”
I’m going to be doing a lot of soul searching on this one.
On a happier note the meetings that are going on are the most exciting I’ve seen since the WAC’s were passed in 1992. You are giving me hope! We have a chance here to make history and prove that if we all work together asnd we all take responsibilty for our role in stopping violence (and keep good statistics) we can show the world that it can be done right and it is worth still trying. Thank you.
Doug Bartholomew MS, LMHC
1750 112th Ave. NE # B-218
Bellevue, WA 98004
So, who is Gary Ruffcorn? He is a convicted serial abuser, he had SIX prior convictions for Assault in the 4th Degree Domestic Violence and THREE Convictions for violation of a No Contact Order, details and pictures of the aftermath of his violence can be found here.
The system placed this clearly troubled man in the same program as countless fathers who have merely been accused of the most petty offences, and I may add accused by only one person in a 10 minute long DVPO hearing with no rules of evidence allowed.
Bartholomew ever so casually comments about how bad he feels, how he wishes it were different, implying how he was duped by this person. This is not the case DB and Martin have been involved in DVPT for far to many years, The 2012 Washington State Recidivism study TomGeorge (2012) DV Sentencing Conditions Recidivism_FINAL_042412 paints the picture black and white, Domestic Violence Perpetrator Treatment as it exists today in Washington State is a failure, it does not work. If the average person who completes DVPT is slightly more likely to commit and get charged with a act of Domestic Violence what are the percentages going to look like for someone who fits this profile?
Violence and accountability, every single person who failed should have a place at that table include private profiteers like Mr. Bartholomew.