Prosecutor - Pat Jessamy - Concerned About Consent In ACORN Video

Prosecutor Concerned About Consent In ACORN Video

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Anne Kramer

Baltimore City State's Attorney Pat Jessamy talks to WBAL's Shari Elliker about the ACORN video
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Baltimore City's State's Attorney Pat Jessamy reiterated her concerns about the video recording involving ACORN workers in Baltimore.

Jessamy appeared on WBAL's Shari Elliker Show where said her first priority is to uphold the law.

Four employees of ACORN in the Baltimore office were fired after a video surfaced showing a man and woman posing as a pimp and prostitute asking the employees for advice about skirting the law.

Jessamy tells WBAL that she is required under the law to introduce evidence that is legally obtained. She says if the evidence is obtained illegally it can not be introduced into court.

Her concern is that the video tape might have been recorded without two party consent. In Maryland the law states that audio can not be recorded without both parties giving their consent. The voices of the workers and the man and woman posing as the pimp and prostitute in the ACORN video can be heard.

"I now and in the future will uphold the law of the State of Maryland. That is the oath I took. I am not going to do anything otherwise because of threats, intimidation or anything else. The law is the law," Jessamy told Elliker.

Here is State's Attorney Pat Jessamy's statement following the release of the ACORN video


Baltimore, MD – September 11, 2009 – We have received inquiries from citizens and the media asking whether the Baltimore City State’s Attorneys Office would initiate a criminal investigation for acts allegedly committed at ACORN offices located in Baltimore. The only information received in reference to this alleged criminal behavior was a YouTube video. Upon review by this office, the video appears to be incomplete. In addition, the audio portion could possibly have been obtained in violation of Maryland Law, Annotated Code of Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article §10-402, which requires two party consent.

If it is determined that the audio portion now being heard on YouTube was illegally obtained, it is also illegal under Maryland Law to willfully use or willfully disclose the content of said audio. The penalty for the unlawful interception, disclosure or use of it is a felony punishable up to 5 years.
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