Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Son: KPHO Follows Joshua Pearce Story (w/Update)

Kudos to KPHO/Channel 5 for reporting on allegations of child abuse involving state Senate president Russell Pearce's son Joshua Pearce, which I first reported on a month ago.

Reporter Jason Barry dogged Pearce at the state Capitol, seeking a quote from Mr. Rule of Law, himself.

A clearly uncomfortable Pearce declined comment, saying, "It's a personal family issue."

You can watch last night's KPHO segment, here.

This morning, Mesa Police Department spokesman Edward Wessing confirmed the stats on Josh's run-ins with the Mesa cops: 21 involvements as an adult, 10 as a juvenile, and 10 adult arrests.

In a recent blog item, I detailed some of those incidents, involving assault, domestic violence, fleeing law enforcement, and another mysterious case involving possible child abuse.

I've also posted the complete police report for this latest case of alleged child abuse.

The Mesa PD has said that it will not file charges, lacking any corroborating evidence, even though investigators in the report do not think Joshua's being truthful.

Instead, Mesa will turn the case over to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for review. (See update below.)

On January 18, one investigator noted in the recently released report that,

"As of this writing, the Pearce children were removed from Samantha and Joshua's home and placed in foster care and Joshua is currently in a drug rehabilitation facility in Arizona."

Obviously, there are a host of ironies involved in this matter, some of which I've already commented on.

But I would further point out that Russell Pearce is always attempting to link illegal immigrants with criminal activity and to supposed costs to the taxpayer. (Usually, his stats are bogus, BTW.)

And yet, his son Joshua has cost the state a great deal in police response, court costs,foster care for his kids, and so forth. 

Indeed, the average undocumented immigrant is more respectful of law enforcement than Joshua's been during his 30 years on this planet. That Joshua has so far escaped imprisonment is astounding. If he were undocumented, he would have been deported by now.

UPDATE 1/26/11: Apparently, there was some confusion at Mesa PD over whether or not the MCAO would review this case after the fact.

From my earliest report, I made it clear that the Mesa PD had indicated it would not file charges against Joshua Pearce for lack of probable cause.

Investigators believe Pearce did not tell the the truth. But they lacked corroborating evidence. Still, even one of the investigators noted in a supplemental narrative dated 1/11 and approved 1/18 that, "I am forwarding this case to the County Attorney for a formal review for all the cases for any applicable charging."

See last page, here.

The MCAO and the Mesa PD had consulted on the case earlier on, and as I've said, Mesa PD PIO Ed Wessing had already indicated that Mesa PD would not file charges.

Seems the Mesa PD believed there was some process by which the MCAO would do a further review.

There isn't. Wessing told me today that the MCAO kicks in after the Mesa PD has filed charges. And since the Mesa PD will not file charges, the MCAO will not further review it.

All of which gives me the impression that this is one football no one wanted possession of. Perhaps the Mesa PD wanted some cover from the MCAO so they didn't look like they were showing favoritism to Joshua because of his high-profile daddy. Maybe the MCAO wanted no part of it for similar reasons.

Granted this is just speculation at this point. But all of this back and forth raises the issue: Would someone in the same situation as Russell Pearce's son escape charges? Maybe so. There's nothing conclusive in the report. And the interviews with Joshua's wife and the other children did not offer an eyewitness to the account.

Still, Joshua Pearce has clearly caused the Mesa PD some consternation in this incident. And considering his history of run-ins with Mesa police, the Mesa PD likely has more Joshua-induced heartburn to come.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons