D.J. Bell, a South Salt Lake Resident was brutally beaten in a gay-bashing by his neighbors after they falsely believed that he had kidnapped two of their children in July 2008. South Salt Lake Police, detectives and prosecutors shortly thereafter put on a sham trial where David J. Bell was fully acquitted of the charges and where the jury called the whole trial a travesty of justice and waste of taxpayer funds. Now nearly 3 years have passed and D.J. Bell was recently denied access to the Utah Office of Victims Reparations Fund because as Dana Thomas stated: “You were charged with kidnapping children which appears to be the reason for the attack”. When challenged on this gross injustice her supervisor Melvin Wilson stated: the funds would be denied because Bell brought the attack on himself.
As you are aware, Mr. DJ Bell was fully acquitted of the charges against him by a jury of his peers, whereby the jury even stated that the whole trial was a travesty of justice.
Mr Bells application for access to the funds seem to have been denied in haste by Utah State employees who without regard to the cases outcome, or to any pattern of fair application to a law or policy.
Above all, any and all valid requests for access to the victims reparations funds should be handled impartially and with respect by employees of the office that are charged with handling such requests.
Rather, Utah State employees Dana Thomas, and Melvin Wilson charged with handling the request denied the claim saying “You were charged with kidnapping children which appears to be the reason for the attack”. and "the funds would be denied because Bell brought the attack on himself".
This type of action, i.e denying crime victims fair access to the funds application process should not be tolerated.
I ask that you investigate this matter and immediately correct the injustice that continues at the hand of the State of Utah and administrators of the Utah Office of Victims Reparations.