The Other McCain

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Fugitive Florida Sex Offender Flees to Canada, Claims ‘Refugee’ Status

Posted on | June 14, 2014 | 70 Comments

Denise Harvey, 45, molested a 16-year-old Florida boy.

Denise Harvey is from Indian River County, the same community that is also home to notorious sex offender Kaitlyn Hunt. Some people may think exiling criminal perverts to Canada would be adequate punishment, but Florida officials want her extradited:

Vero Beach fugitive Denise Harvey is claiming refugee status in Canada, saying the 30-year sentence she received for having sex with a 16-year-old amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment.”
An hour-long private “detention review” was held Monday in Saskatoon, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, for Harvey, 45. She was released from Royal Canadian Mounted Police custody late Monday afternoon on a $5,000 bond, Harvey’s lawyer Chris Veeman said.
“I think she’s relieved to be out of jail,” said Veeman, a Saskatoon immigration law specialist.
Harvey plans to remain with husband, Charles, at their home in Pike Lake, about 18 miles south of Saskatoon, where they have lived since fleeing Florida nearly a year ago, Veeman said.
Harvey was convicted in 2008 on multiple counts of felony unlawful sex activity with certain minors. The charges stem from sexual encounters with her son’s then-16-year-old baseball teammate and friend. . . .
Details of the case aside, Veeman said a 30-year sentence is grounds for a refugee claim. It’s not a “classic” claim under the United Nations convention that usually pertains to political prisoners from Third World dictatorships. He acknowledged a refugee claim from an American might seem unusual, but it is valid nonetheless.
“Thirty years is too high. It’s way out of whack. I think there is merit to her (refugee) claim,” Veeman said.
The refugee claim could take months — or longer — to resolve. Harvey has 28 days to file her reasons for the claim and a multi-step process will follow.
The refugee claim is one of several intriguing legal possibilities the case raises. Harvey was arrested last week on the request of U.S. Marshals and Florida justice officials, who want her extradited to serve her time. But Canada does not extradite people unless the incident is a crime in both countries, according to the Department of Justice website — a principle known as “double criminality.”
Having sexual relations with a 16-year-old is not against the law in Canada, unless there is a power dynamic such as teacher-student.

Tucker Carlson could not be reached for comment.



70 Responses to “Fugitive Florida Sex Offender Flees to Canada, Claims ‘Refugee’ Status”

  1. Paul H. Lemmen
    June 15th, 2014 @ 12:03 am

    Prosecutors use the threat of concurrent sentences all the time. As well as other coercive tactics. In my case I was threatened with 150 years. I eventually accepted a proffer of 42 months (after 26 months of sleeping on a concrete floor as the 15th man in a ten man cell) with five years of ‘supervised release’ (which ends on 28 February 2015).
    Of course, I was guilty and by accepting the proffer I limited the punishment I would receive in exchange for reducing the cost of prosecution (as well as putting another feather in the cap of the US Attorney (the eighth one assigned to my case). That didn’t stop her from attempting an upward deviation for the alleged act of using my office in an improper manner (tacking on an additional 36 months). The presiding Judge wisely decided that since the prosecution stated that I was not a retired general officer they could not now claim I abused my office as a retired general officer for improper acts. His words were that they couldn’t have it both ways and he denied the motion for an upward deviation from the sentencing guidelines.
    Of course, this was in federal court not in state court in Florida.

  2. Adjoran
    June 15th, 2014 @ 12:16 am

    Sentencing at trial after a verdict is up to the judge. The prosecutor can request, but so can the defense. For major felonies, most states require a presentencing report that deals with the severity of the crime(s) and likelihood of the offender repeating.

  3. Adjoran
    June 15th, 2014 @ 12:17 am

    He offered her a DEAL. She turned it down. Very simple.
    Did you go to public school, by chance?

  4. Adjoran
    June 15th, 2014 @ 12:18 am

    The judge decides the sentence. The jury found her guilty.

  5. DeadMessenger
    June 15th, 2014 @ 2:36 am

    I’m in Palm Bay, about 3 blocks from West Melbourne. Hunt is from Sebastian, which is in Indian River County, and about a 20-30 minute drive from West Melbourne. If I’m not mistaken, her father was a West Melbourne cop. Either way, they’re real close to Palm Bay, which may actually be psycho central in the state of Florida, and very possibly the rectal sphincter of the universe. Which kind of explains the whole “Free Kaitlyn” phenomenon.

  6. Art Deco
    June 15th, 2014 @ 9:40 am

    She was convicted on a five count indictment of canoodling with a 16 year old student. In New York, that’s 3d degree rape, a class E felony. If she were sentenced to consecutive terms, the maximum sentence would have been 6.7 to 20 years. I believe these more often run concurrently, which would make the sentence 16 months to 4 years. Judges in New York have a great deal of latitude and can substitute a determinate sentence of < 1 year for the indeterminate sentence re any class E felony (not to mention probation options).

    The woman needs to be held accountable, but proposing to chuck a 47 year old bourgeois in prison for decades for loose morals and offenses against fiduciary duty is stupefying. The sex offenders are not the only crazy thing about Florida. Jail her for 18 months and prohibit her from teaching. (She won't be getting more dangerous to the virtue of the young as she gets older, btw).

  7. Art Deco
    June 15th, 2014 @ 9:42 am

    Glenn Reynolds has been saying for some time that prosecutors need to be compelled to disclose plea offers to juries.

    There is too much discretion and too much impunity invested in an occupational subgroup that people have reason to believe is liberally studded with the terminally arrogant and the just plain evil.

  8. Dana
    June 15th, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    Mr Deco asked:

    Banging a 40 year old woman is a status marker among adolescents now?

    Getting laid is the status marker, period, and 16 year old boys never, never! fail to bag about banging a girl, unless she’s just hideously ugly or morbidly obese . . . at which point the girl bags about getting laid.

  9. Dana
    June 15th, 2014 @ 11:01 am

    Isn’t living in Saskatchewan pretty much the equivalent of prison?

  10. Dana
    June 15th, 2014 @ 11:09 am

    She was being held very accountable, and the judge was sending a message, a very strong message, to other teachers: there would be no Debra LaFave deals in his courtroom!

    The problem isn’t that she got such a harsh sentence; the problem is that other criminals get sentences which are too lenient.

  11. Art Deco
    June 15th, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

    Rubbish, Dana. The average state prisoner in our system serves about 30 months. Thirty years for a low grade felony in which the victim was a willing participant and which could be readily plea-bargained is absurd.

    It’s not the job of judges to make examples of people. It’s the job of the judge to determine proportionate punishments.

  12. Art Deco
    June 15th, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

    By the way, it’s been conventional wisdom for decades (with some empirical support) that deterrence is sensitive to the likelihood and celerity of punishment, not the severity of punishment. New York has invested in prison and jail space like every other place, increasing capacity 2.7 fold. The thing is, states in general increased theirs about 6 fold with no better results. New York is as urbanized as any state in the country but has a homicide rate below the mean in spite of its low investment in prison space. Expanding your police force and improved police tactics do that for you.

  13. Art Deco
    June 15th, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

    Some people like the prairie and small cities like Regina and Saskatoon.

  14. Art Deco
    June 15th, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

    Sorry, Dana. I was a 16 year old youth once in a city of ordinary size in the Rustbelt. The middle-aged women of my youth were very matronly and no one was hankering after them or advertising any canoodling with them.

  15. Dana
    June 15th, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

    And what would the penalty have been had it been a 40 year old male teacher raping a student? The penalty was legal, and I have no problem with it at all.

  16. damorris
    June 15th, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    Has the sixteen year old managed to wipe that silly grin off his face yet?

  17. Art Deco
    June 16th, 2014 @ 9:31 am

    Which means you do not critique positive law, I take it. Thank you Mr. Hobbes.

  18. K-Bob
    June 16th, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    Well that’s too bad. Forty years ago, Palm Bay was a fairly small, but growing community. Must have gone way downhill.

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