Investigative Journalist, Barry R. Clausen
June 18, 2012
Note: On Wednesday May 2, 2012 I (Barry R. Clausen) a reporter for NewsWithViews.com, the Sacramento Valley Mirror and other publications took a large out of court settlement from Chico, California resident, Melissa Lynn Jones, a former member of the Tehama County, California Mental Health Department. The suit arose as a result of Jones’s attempt to murder me during a March 31, 2009 interview. The scheduled interview was regarding Jones and her friend, Alicia Allen, a Tehama County Juvenile Probation Officer and their sexual activities with underage juveniles. These juveniles were Hispanic and all were connected to the unsafe mental and physically abusive conditions at the County’s Juvenile Hall. The following, even though lengthy, it is a condensed autobiographical version of the attempt on my life and the county’s corruption and subsequent cover-up by county officials regarding child abuse and allegations of pedophilia connected to the Juvenile Justice Center. The full version of this story will be featured in my forthcoming third book, Last One Left Alive – Sharing CIA Secrets.
It was 3:00 p/m on March 31, 2009 in Red Bluff, California at the end of an unsuccessful news interview for Tim Crews, publisher of the Sacramento Valley Mirror. I was in the process of opening the driver’s door of my truck to leave the site of the interview when from behind me I recognized the sound of a slide coming home on a semi-automatic pistol. I quickly turned to see the barrel of a .45 caliber gun about one foot from my head and Jones the obliviously mentally deranged slim tall blond woman screaming in an ear-piercing screech. “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to blow your fu**ing head off!” Even though it had been decades since my military and law enforcement training, I quickly jerked my head to the left, brought up my right hand and grabbed the gun along with the hand holding the weapon. The fight was on for possession of the gun.
After I successfully gained control of the Glock .45 from the wacked out female holding it I removed the clip and pulled the slide back anticipating a shell would exit the chamber. But in doing so I saw no shell, so I made the assumption there was not a bullet in the chamber. This was later discovered to be incorrect because she had made an error in loading the gun. Instead of allowing the slide to travel forward at its own speed she had apparently held the slide causing it to proceed slowly thus, not allowing the shell to lock onto the slide.
At that moment Jones, who at the time was a Tehama County Mental Health Nurse, began attempting to hit my face with her fists. As I backed up, she continued to advance towards me so I swung the gun at her thinking I would hit her arm or wrists and the pain of the metal against the bones of her arm would stop the attack. Instead of hitting her wrist, the gun, twice bounced off the side of her head. That didn’t deter her; she ran to the open tailgate of her SUV and grabbed the baseball size rocks she had just inside the tailgate and began throwing them at me. Two thoughts went through my mind as I dodged the rocks; should I pistol whip her or run? I decided that getting away from her was the best option as I did not want to give her an opportunity to say, “He attacked me first.”
At the beginning of our short conversation, Jones was not willing to answer my questions especially when I asked her about her sexual contact with 16 & 17 year old Hispanic boys. Before that question, I had asked her about the meeting she had earlier that day with Dan Emry who was at the time head of the Tehama County Probation Department. She responded with, “He hates you as much as I do!” She then started saying stupid things like, “I want to know the names of who you talked to,” and “I’m going to sue you.” While she was saying these things she kept laughing and stating in a loud voice, “I can do anything I want and you can’t do anything to stop me!”
As she was throwing rocks, I was on the phone with the 911 operator. I explained that this woman was throwing rocks at me and the operator said, “She’s throwing rocks at you?” I responded with, “Yea but I already got the gun away from her.” The operator said, “She had a gun and you now have it in your possession?” “Yea, send help,” I said. The operator responded with, “The cars are on their way as soon as you tell us where you are.”
I had walked to the opposite side of the church parking lot where she had asked me to meet her for the interview in case she had something else in mind. From this location I could see the street sign and the sign for the North Valley Baptist Church on David Avenue.
After the short fight for the gun, her fists attempting to hit me in the face and dodging rocks I felt out of breath and my call to 911 must have made me sound like an idiot. I have often watched and listened to 911 callers on TV and thought they sounded goofy. I now realize what they go through. In the three minute conversation with the 911 operator I became one of those idiots.
Minutes later two police cars from the Red Bluff Police Department arrived. One vehicle drove to where I was standing with the weapon raised in my right hand. The officer in the vehicle approached me while the other vehicle drove directly to where Jones was. Almost immediately more Red Bluff Police Department officers and Tehama County Sheriff’s Department deputies came from all directions.
When the vehicles from the Red Bluff Police Department arrived; their on-site investigation and interviews were done in a very professional manner which resulted in the arrest of Jones. Police determined that the weapon she used in the failed attempt on my life was a newly purchased Glock .45 caliber pistol. It was explained to me sometime later when talking to Dave Baker of the Tehama County Prosecutor’s office that she had told him that her brother was a former Navy Seal and he was teaching her how to use the gun. Obviously, the “former Seal” did not have time to teach her much, as she made numerous mistakes during the time she was in the process of trying to shoot me in the head.
In speculation there are several scenarios that could have happened. One of those was that the stones that she had in her vehicle could have been used to show that she killed me in self-defense. She would shoot me, throw a few rocks around, hit herself in the head and then say she shot me in self-defense.
former Probation Department employee I had reported several cases of abuse
of incarcerated juveniles and nothing had been done. It had become evident
during the last several years that Tehama County officials were not going
to investigate the abuse of the juveniles that I had reported within the
County Juvenile Justice Center so I decided to investigate the charges
Jones and Allen were part of my personal investigation and when I had documentation and interviews to verify that there was actually enough evidence to confront Jones and Allen my immediate thoughts were to send Jones a request for an interview. I had been to the Mental Health Department two days prior to the attempt on my life and requested the receptionist contact Jones and to tell her I was in the lobby and I wanted to speak to her. The receptionist tried to contact her but she was told Jones was not available to talk with me at that time.
On March 28, 2009 I had met with Allen just previous to the Jones interview at Allen’s home in Red Bluff. It was not a scheduled interview but she did take time to talk with me. Allen had been on administrative leave for over one year as a result of an internal investigation related to the inappropriate sexual contact with underage Hispanic males. During the short talk we had at her front door she admitted to what she labeled as an “indiscretion” and said, “I made a mistake once, I dated someone I shouldn’t have. If there is a punishment I’ll deal with it.” She went on to say, “I’m going back to work with my head held high. If I quit, it will be on my terms, not the county’s.” (Following the attempt on my life Jones, Allen and Dan Emry, Chief of the Tehama County Probation Department, immediately resigned their positions and then Allen moved to Medford, Oregon).
Within the Tehama County Juvenile Justice Center there have been several cases of hostility and stress related problems. One of the most notable cases of creating a hostile working environment was an incident between two juvenile hall staff members, Ms. Sarah Olson and Ms. Alicia Allen when Allen was a “Juvenile Hall Counselor.” The problem with Ms. Allen had arisen numerous times before and had apparently been covered-up by management in each case. The following provides an example of Allen’s hostile attitude and in spite of that, unbelievably she received a promotion and became a “Juvenile Probation Officer.”
An official “Special Incident Report” dated 9-22-04 from the Tehama County Juvenile Justice Center regarding a physical confrontation between the two staff members states, “Allen came from behind the desk and ran into Olson’s shoulder with her shoulder very aggressively while passing and stated, excuse me c**t. Allen then grabbed Olson by the arm and pulled her fist back as if she was going to hit Olson and stated, I will hurt you, you f**king bitch.”
Because I had already interviewed the juveniles Allen had been involved with, I was genuinely surprised that she freely admitted to the inappropriate sex she had with a minor boy. She also made it clear she believed she could not be charged as a result of the statute of limitations running out. In other words, she thought she was running free of any charges.
During our short conversation I brought up the issue of her friend Melisa Jones and the inappropriate sex she was also having with juveniles. Her comment to me was, “If you want that information contact Jones and see what she has to say.”
My written request to interview Jones was sent to her the morning of March 30, 2009 which was just two days following my interview with her friend Allen. “I have conducted many interviews in relation to the county’s investigation into to the allegations against you and Allen. I would like to spend a few minutes with you to hear what you have to say about those allegations.
“I am doing a story on the issue and it is only fair that I hear your side of what transpired. I often think about something you said to me about Mossman. You came into the Pod I was working and stated, “If Mossman hurts one more kid I’m going to report him.” These words do not correspond with what I am hearing about your actions. Please give me a couple of minutes. It’s your choice as to what you want to say.
“On March 18, 2009 I was in contact with a member of the U.S. Department of Justice in Sacramento about the allegations. That contact was met with a request for me to give copies of my interviews to federal authorities for a possible federal investigation into “Child Abuse/Civil Rights Violations.”
“I have also met with members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and they are currently looking into possible civil rights violations.”
If you choose not to talk to me please let me know who your attorney is and how to contact him/her. There is a way to put an end to these allegations and the unfortunate mess it has created.
On March 31, 2009 I received a call from Counselor Jones in response to the written request I had sent her asking for an interview pertaining to a news story and an exposé I was working on pertaining to the abuse of children within the Tehama County Juvenile Hall.
During that short phone conversation she agreed to meet me for that nearly fatal interview at 2:00 p/m that same afternoon. I was unable to locate Jones at the place she had originally instructed me to go so I went back to the Mental Health Department and had the receptionist call her on her cell phone. She was evasive as to where I should go so I waited at the Mental Health office for her return. When she returned I suggested that we go to a local Mexican restaurant where we could get a coke or coffee. She said “No, if you want an interview go to the place I told you to go earlier.” I suggested to her that I would follow her as it was not clear where I had been instructed to meet her.
Then after two years of waiting for her case to go to trial she was finally convicted in one of the Tehama County Courts. For the attempt on my life she received a monstrous 45 days in the County jail!
The incident with the gun made local news. On Redding’s ABC TV Channel 7 News, there was a story about the attack with the weapon. The Sacrament Valley Mirror was the first to run the story followed by the Chico News & Review. In nearby Redding the Record Searchlight posted the story on their website and on the front page of the paper was an in-depth story of the attack. However, the local Red Bluff Daily News did not see any interest in the attempted murder as they apparently believed there was no story. Other than reporting on the fraudulent investigations the paper has never asked me for a copy of the documented physical and sexual abuse nor have they ever interviewed me. They have failed as a paper to report to the community the truth about what was transpiring right under their nose.
According to newspapers that did find the story newsworthy, reporters found that both women were engaging in sexual intercourse, oral sex, alcohol, and drugs with several male wards.
Even though I had known and documented the child abuse and the inappropriate sexual contacts years earlier, it wasn’t until January 10, 2009 when I attended a meeting in Redding CA at the Shasta County public library with Pat Sansom of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Three of the topics discussed at the meeting were the problems with racial issues in Tehama County, problems with Red Bluff school officials and the Tehama County Juvenile Justice Center which at that time was under the direction of Dan Emry. Present at the library meeting were juveniles, young adults and parents from Tehama County who had information relevant to the long term and ongoing problems with members of the Tehama County Probation Department, the Red Bluff High School and the Red Bluff Police Department.
Following that meeting a discussion eventually led to Allen and Jones. During the conversation that took place at the entrance of the library Allen was accused by name of being a “sexual predator” by Sal Casas, a parent of one of the juveniles. Casas disclosed that Allen had a sexual relationship with her son for several years.
Casa’s son who was present at the library stated that he had been having a sexual relationship with Allen that began when he was 16 years of age. At that time the juvenile had moved into Allen’s home with her. He also talked about others who allegedly had the same relationship with both Allen and Jones. He went on to state that, “Allen always bought the beer – so.”
The information with regard to the relationship between Allen and the juvenile was openly given to those in attendance in the presence of the youth’s mother Sal Casas and other adults. Casas gave a personal accounting of the actions of Allen. According to Casas, Allen had come to her home on more than one occasion and tried to force herself into the home in order to find her son. She repeated numerous times that Allen was a “sexual predator.” In another statement by Casas she indicated that Allen had attacked her son in the presence of his uncle when he tried to break off the relationship.
I had first met the juvenile when I was an employee of the Tehama County Probation Department. The boy had spent a short time in the County Juvenile Justice Center where I worked. It was during my employment with the probation department that I witnessed and reported multiple instances of severe physical abuse of children. I also knew about sexual activities and when I attempted to report all of the abuse I was discharged. I had kept immaculate documentation and gave that information to numerous county officials including County Supervisors, Barbara McIver, Ross Turner and George Russell. I had called McGiver at her office and she told me that she had passed the information I had given her to County Counsel William Murphy. I called Murphy to ask if he needed any additional information. He said to me “give the process a chance to work, Have a good day” and hung up on me.
According to the juvenile himself he had actually been having a relationship with Allen in the Juvenile Hall during the time he was incarcerated. The young man explained during an interview that when he was released from the Justice Center Allen gave him a piece of paper with her phone number on it and told him to call which he did.
Another piece of information revealed by the juvenile was that Alicia Allen had paid the juvenile $90.00 to take several of his friends to a party with Melissa Jones at her home in Chico. The reason for the party was so that her friend could have sex with this group of boys. (The drunken party was substantiated by Tehama County Law Enforcement reports. The reports do not mention sexual improprieties. The reports document the party and the fact that Jones supplied alcohol to minors and that it occurred while her husband was out of town. The same police report shows that Jones had sex with numerous Hispanic gang members in her car and at the home of Alicia Allen where the two also had a relationship with each other). Once again, when this information was discovered one month before the attempt on my life the obvious question should have been, why was she allowed to continue working as a Tehama County mental health professional?
The juvenile also provided additional information about the party saying, “I drove. There was one guy in the passenger seat, four of my friends were in the back seat and we had one guy in the trunk – he was a small Mexican kid. Boy did Jones know how to party!”
It was several weeks later that the juvenile went to Investigator Baker and verified some of the stories with regard to Allen and Jones. According to Pat Sansom, the kid also told Baker about the inappropriate sex with the two Tehama County employees and verified that when he was released from custody from the Juvenile Justice Center Allen had given him her phone number. The interview with Baker had come about after the juvenile had developed a working relationship with the soft spoken, professional acting Sansom that the young man felt comfortable enough to go to Investigator Baker, but only with Sansom in attendance.
According to Sansom the Hispanic male also told Investigator Baker about having sex with Allen during the time he was 16/17 years of age. When he got out of the hall there was more sex. Allen would boldly come to the home he resided at with his parents and pick him up.
The young Hispanic male stated that he could show up without notice and as soon as he got to her home they would do drugs and then have sex. He also explained that Allen would provide him with not only drugs, but alcohol and cigarettes as well. The juvenile stated that the reason they broke up had been because one time he showed up at her house and there was another teenage boy there.
Apparently, the investigations into the activities of Allen and Jones had been ongoing for over the better part of sixteen months during 2007 & 2008 by Tehama County law enforcement. During this same time period Chief of Probation Dan Emry had been told by the late Leslie Wright about Allen’s activities with juvenile boys from her son who was a first-hand witness to Jones’s and Allen’s activities.” Once again, as with prior reports of sexual abuse connected to Tehama County employees, Emry did nothing with the information.
Additional information documented in police reports show that Jones sent nude pictures of herself to Juvenile Counselor James Mossman and Greg Ulloa a supervisor at the county Juvenile Probation Department. Dave Baker and Walt Rhodes of the Prosecutor’s office had told Dan Emry and Greg Ulloa that they knew about the nude pictures that had been sent to both James Mossman and Ulloa himself.
Apparently, Sheriff Parker was in the process of opening an investigation into the actions of Mossman. Parker assigned Detective Patterson a newly promoted detective to investigate. At the beginning of the criminal investigation Investigator Baker was involved in the inquiry but was soon removed from the investigation. Based on all interviews, I personally believe it was a deliberate cover-up done to prevent exposing the physical and sexual abuse by county employees. Once again, for whatever reason, nothing was done with the obvious evidence.
Juvenile Judge Edward King III and Sheriff Clay Parker told the press
that an investigation had been done by Tehama County law enforcement officials,
appearances show those responsible were either completely stupid, incompetent,
deliberately lying or outright covering up the truth.
According to the official Grand Jury report; “Three members of the Grand Jury visited the Tehama County Juvenile Hall on September 24, 2008. The Chief Probation Officer Daniel Emry, Greg Ulloa [Juvenile Division Director] and James Mossman greeted us. We were provided a tour of the entire facility.” The Grand Jury praised Lou Peters for her management abilities and gave Mossman credit for his leadership abilities and claimed he “leads by example.”
The Grand Jury investigation was also unbelievably inept. For one thing, I was never interviewed and James Mossman is the man the Sacramento Valley Mirror and the Chico News & Review has previously written about regarding his physical abuse of children. When I was an employee of the Juvenile Hall I personally witnessed several cases of Mossman’s abuse of several incarcerated youth.
Following the April 3, 2009 airing of this story on Channel 7, I received a phone call from a lady in Red Bluff who turned out to be an interesting surprise. According to the caller Melisa Jones had made contact with Ramone Ranoza and Miguel Zarez both Mexican gang members with the Nortanos. According to the source Jones had walked into Zarez’s Red Bluff home without even knocking. There were several Hispanic juveniles present and according to the witnesses she had made Ranoza and Zarez a strange offer. Jones claimed she had bought a gun and she wanted something done. The offer included a gun, $2000, all the drug Xanax they wanted plus a trip to Hawaii. Apparently, the trip to the Islands was designed to keep the person who took the offer out of the reach of investigators. Even though my name was not mentioned other juveniles who were present believed the offer was specifically designed to be a hit on me.
On April 4, 2009 I met with the caller. She brought a friend who had also witnessed Jones’s offer to the two gang members. The caller supplied names of additional witnesses who were present when the offer was made.
A friend of mine who attended the meeting with witnesses and others happens to be an agent with the U.S. Department of Justice who had received permission from his department to record the meeting. The contact with the Nortanos turned out not to be a surprise as both Melissa Jones and her friend Alicia Allen had a habit of socializing with youthful members of Mexican gangs.
Friends of Ramone Ranoza told me that he has tattoos all over his body and according to my sources the tattoos were paid for by Alicia Allen. It was also told to me that Ranoza has been involved with Allen for several years and that he just turned 18 in 2008. Niguel Zarez has body piercing that was also paid for by Allen. (In a Sheriff Department interview with the two gang members they denied the allegations regarding Jones’s visit to their home).
On April 17, 2009 myself and my wife met with Tehama County Prosecuting Attorney Gregg Cohen and Linda J. Lucas Victim/Witness Coordinator at the Witness Protection office across the hall from Cohen’s office. Cohen was friendly and reassured us that the charges against Jones would probably be increased to attempted murder with bail set at perhaps $250,000. Cohen also said after the issue with Jones was settled he would have all the abuse charges investigated.
Apparently, his ideas of justice are inconsistent with basic logic. I believe this is another example of acts of Tehama County corruption. For the second time I gave Cohen a copy of all the documentation of the abuse and as expected nothing happened, proving once again there is no justice for some of the youth in Tehama County.
One of the first questions asked of me is about my qualifications to determine what abuse is. I believe my education in law enforcement addresses that question. I attended Western Montana College specializing in Criminal Justice, the College of Great Falls with classes in Criminal Justice, Violence & Aggression and Legal Research Techniques, Montana State University with Criminal Justice (Abuse Therapy) and Postgraduate 591 classes in Abuse Prevention and Family Therapy.
I have also worked on Continuing Legal Education classes in Management Training, Dependency Hearings, Allegations of Child Abuse, Gang & Drug Seminars, Making Your Point in The War on Drugs, Advanced Training in the War on Drugs and Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse.
During a short phone conversation with Richard "Dick" Muench, the current Chief Probation Officer in Tehama County, he emphasized that there were serious problems in the past and that he had read the Chico News & Review (CN&R) story about the abuse. He acknowledged that the story was accurate but he believed that all of those problems had been corrected. He said that the current Probation Department was a “clean operation” and that what happened in the past is not news. He did not want the general public of the county to think that all the abuse in the past was continuing. It should also be noted that most of the current staff at the juvenile hall are hardworking and professional.
I am glad for the employees if Muench has eliminated the corruption within the Juvenile Hall. According to Dave Baker, Muench is doing an outstanding job as the Chief Probation Officer and that the probation department is really a “clean operation.” However, there remains the issue of the impact that both the physical and sexual abuse has had on the juveniles involved which has not yet been addressed.
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The story Muench commented on in the CN&R was written be Meredith Cooper and titled “Sex, drugs and guns - Those in charge of Tehama County’s juvenile hall may be contributing to the kids’ delinquency.” The article was a major story about abuse and corruption within the County’s Juvenile Hall.
A face–to-face request for an interview with former Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker was unsuccessful. A visit to the office of Greg Cohen, County Prosecutor was also unfruitful. I also submitted a request to Muench to interview Juvenile Hall Superintendent Lou Peters and James Mossman and that request has gone unfulfilled. A call to Alicia Allen resulted in her hanging up. I have no interest in requesting an interview with Melissa Lynn Jones after her last attempt on my life.
On June 28, 2011, I requested a copy of the alleged investigation into the abuse former Sheriff Clay Parked claimed he had conducted. The request was a Public Records Act Request directed to Sheriff Hencratt the newly elected sheriff of Tehama County. The request was denied because it was a personnel issue thus making it impossible to determine exactly what had transpired.
© 2012 Barry R. Clausen - All Rights Reserved
Mr. Clausen has been a guest on over 250 U.S. and Canadian radio talk shows and TV news shows including ABC, CBS, NBC and repeatedly on FOX News. He has been featured or quoted in over 800 books, magazines and news articles including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Vancouver Province, Canada’s B.C. Report, New York Times, Newsday, Seattle Times, Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News and a lengthy article beginning on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Clausen’s information has been translated and used by publications in many foreign countries including Japan, Ireland, England, Turkey, Germany, France and Chile. In 1994, a film crew from Danish TV-2 flew to Seattle to interview Mr. Clausen for a television documentary about international and U.S. extremist organizations. The documentary, A MAN IN THE RAINBOW, was subsequently aired in several European countries.
His latest book "Burning Rage - The Growing Anger Within My Country," will be updated and available on Amazon.com early this spring.