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Not Victim Enough

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And if, as he claims, Logan did nothing wrong, why did he flee, and initially lie to police?

"I got scared."
He was exonerated, Logan says, because "my story jibed, and so did the evidence at the scene. It matched everything I said."

Not quite. At the time of the alleged attack, police noted that the floor fan apparently had not moved. If it had, it would have left a ring in the carpet. Logan says he or Boyden must have placed it back in exactly the spot where it had stood.

Boyden, who recalls so little of the afternoon's events, has only her injuries as proof of what happened.

But it wasn't nearly enough for county prosecutors.
"They [the county attorney's staff] probably deal with so many subterranean people all day long that they get really world-weary and cynical," Brian Finkel says. "They just don't give a shit, and they're probably saying, 'She was drunk, she took him home, they started screwing and it got out of control, and tough. We tried. Go away. Next crime. Who got shot?'"

Actually, that's not what the county attorney's staff is probably saying. It's pretty close to what county prosecutor Hugo Zettler did say to Kim Boyden.

Ironically, Zettler probably wouldn't have come into contact with Boyden's case if it hadn't been for the fact that he had been reassigned months earlier--for violating a victim's rights in an unrelated case.

In January 1996, Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley reassigned Zettler to the charging division--where attorneys present cases to grand juries--after it was revealed that Zettler had offered a lenient plea bargain to an offender without consulting the victim.

Romley used the occasion of Zettler's demotion to hold a press conference and announce that his office was in a "crisis," his prosecutors overworked, and his budget inadequate--by $5 million.

"Every victim has the right to be treated with respect and dignity," Romley said at the time. But that notion got lost when Boyden's case came up.

Zettler's reassignment tagged him to seek an indictment in the Boyden case. Catherine Leisch was the county prosecutor assigned to the case, but Zettler presented it to the grand jury. This is a standard procedure.

Boyden and Finkel were both horrified by Zettler's comments to Boyden. Obviously, Boyden admits, she took home the wrong guy. But no one else has had the huevos--or insensitivity--to tell her that.

She says, "Sure, I'd know better than to bring a stranger into my house if I wasn't drinking alcohol. That's one thing I wouldn't have done if I was sober. But that doesn't give someone the right to beat the holy hell out of you and leave you in a trauma ward."

And it doesn't give a county prosecutor the right to laugh at and insult the victim, which is what Boyden says Zettler did to her.

Zettler was given the opportunity to comment for this story through his attorney, Gerald Strick, and county attorney spokesman Bill FitzGerald, and did not respond.

This was not the first time Zettler had been accused of making inappropriate statements on the job. In fact, he was demoted and given a pay cut of 10 percent last year, specifically because of his "rude and sarcastic attitude" toward law enforcement agencies.

County attorney officials have compiled detailed complaints levied by Phoenix police, State Capitol police and the Department of Public Safety.

Among them is a specific instance of Zettler's insensitivity, involving a crime suspect named George Gardner. "Gardner, an 18 year-old allegedly chased a 14 year-old around his grandmother's home with a cutlery knife with a 10 inch blade," writes chief deputy county attorney Paul Ahler in a letter to Zettler. "Your response to this incident--'maybe W1 [the grandmother] needs to learn how to take a joke?'--demonstrates a callous attitude toward a serious offense."

Zettler's comment had been included in a written "turndown" letter sent to police.

Replying to Ahler, Zettler writes that the Gardner turndown letter was drafted after a discussion with police. "It is my recollection that they [police] felt the same way about the case as I did. Not all submittals, no matter how serious, are totally devoid of humor."

Hugo Zettler is appealing his demotion. A hearing is scheduled for April 14. He remains an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University College of Law, where he teaches in a clinic designed to give law students prosecutorial experience.

Mike Logan says he's living out of his truck, financially ruined by Kim Boyden's accusations. Even though he was cleared of the charges, friends, employers and associates who learned of his arrest have deserted him, Logan says.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.