new-logo25By Mike Volpe

4:22.24 March 26, 2015


Friends and family of the accuser say the man convicted of molesting her in early 2014 wasn’t given a fair trial and the police, the Department of Social Services (DSS), the District Attorney, and the judge were fooled by a manipulative teenager. Jon Massey committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill shortly after being found guilty of molesting his girlfriend’s daughter Ruby, twelve at the time of the allegation, but Liz Scanlon, a teacher for nearly thirty years, believes her daughter lied.

Massey had struggled with depression and suicidal ideation since 2001, according to Scanlon.

“There are some teenagers that will threaten to call CPS and the police on their parents if they aren’t allowed to do what they want. Some of them even follow through.” Scanlon said.

Scanlon said the Jefferson County Department of Social Services (DSS) removed both Ruby and her younger daughter, now 10, immediately after Ruby first made the allegations because Scanlon was skeptical of her daughter and stuck by Massey.

Margaret Williams, Scanlon’s friend, said she believed that the state vigorously prosecuted Massey because Liz Scanlon threatened to sue the state. Scanlon filed a Notice of Claim in October 2012, the first step toward filing a formal lawsuit, shortly after DSS removed both Ruby and her younger daughter.

As a result of Massey’s conviction and Scanlon standing by him, both Ruby and Scanlon’s younger daughter, now 10, Scanlon hasn’t seen either daughter in more than a year.

“All Jon ever did was try to be a good father to all three of them (Liz Scanlon’s kids),” said Khris Lavere a friend and neighbor of Scanlon’s.

Scanlon said she’d maintained an on and off again relationship with Massey starting in 2008, but it wasn’t until July 2012 that her daughter first accused him of molesting her. But it was what the jury didn’t hear that Massey’s lawyer, Sal Piemonte, said was critical to the case.

In the weeks leading up to the accusations Ruby had been caught a number of times visiting a twenty-one year old named Michael Heisler.

The relationship became intense and sexual with on text message stating, “If our relationship works, let’s write a book for prejudiced society. Our little love story/scandal will be a best seller.”

One evening past midnight about two weeks prior to the accusations, Scanlon and her daughter got into an argument which turned violent and woke up their neighbors, the Lavere’s.

Scanlon said the judge shut her down and admonished her in front of the jury when he thought she was about to say that her daughter’s relationship with Heisler was the reason for the argument.

Khris and Linda LaVere are neighbors of Scanlon’s and Khris LaVere said r his entire family woke they heard Scanlon and her daughter arguing over Ruby’s relationship with Heisler.

“Ruby started hitting and punching and kicking,“ Khris Lavere told continuing that he could hear Ruby say, “I hate your guts, you’re not my mother; I’ll get even with you.”

Lavere said he and his family weren’t allowed to testify about this event because they were considered ear not eyewitnesses.

Ruby’s sister Maura, 20, called Massey the only father figure she’s known and also testified at Massey’s trial that she didn’t believe her sister.

“I wasn’t allowed to say why,” Maura said, alluding to the fact that the judge put a gag on mentioning the relationship with Heisler.

Maura , who also witnessed the argument, also wasn’t allowed to explain why the argument occurred.

Scanlon said only after she and Massey threatened to go to the police and have Heisler arrested for statutory rape did her daughter make the allegations, first to police and then to DSS. In a signed affidavit on January 2, 2013, Heisler also recalled a text message Ruby sent to him on August 16, 2012: “my step dad is out of jail and picked up the computer from the house; he is going to be pissed we set him up.”

Hundreds of text messages, screenshots of Facebook conversations, emails, and other documents related to their relationship were all stored on Massey’s computer. “Whenever Ruby was mad at me she would threaten me with an arrest and accusation of rape,” Heisler said in the same affidavit.

PPJ Gazette attempted unsuccessfully to reach Heisler on his cell phone and through Facebook.

Scanlon had also discovered text messages on her daughter’s cell phone which indicated Ruby was dealing valium, tramadol, and Ruby’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication in the same time frame.

Piemonte said that a judge’s interpretation of the rape shield law forbade him from introducing this relationship with the judge believing it would be tantamount to calling a rape victim sexually promiscuous.

“I believe I would have had a strong appeal,” Piemonte said. Also not allowed to testify was Dillon Black. Black is a friend of a friend of Ruby’s and using her friend’s Facebook account in order to avoid detection Ruby had a conversation with Black on June 27, 2012, less than three weeks prior to the allegations being made.

“I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do with my life now that my step-dad is leaving,” Ruby said in one message. “I don’t know when but it’s been decided that he needs to go.”

“I’m the one that got it to happen, so I’m all for it. It’s going to make my life much easier,” Ruby said in another message portending the abuse allegations.

Black was also not allowed to testify because his testimony would have also been covered under rape shield and thus an affidavit he submitted on August 7, 2012 of this Facebook conversation and screenshots of the conversation itself were also not allowed into evidence.

A phone call to Black’s home residence was left unreturned.

Scanlon said that the judge had a personal connection to the case and should have recused himself.

Scanlon’s father, Daniel J Scanlon, Jr was head of the law firm Scanlon, Wilmott, Aylward and Wisner which employed Martusewicz as a junior associate. Martusewicz’ niece, Ryan Brand Schneider, was also Ruby’s eighth grade teacher.

Piemonte said he felt the judge tied his hands repeatedly throughout the trial.

During his cross-examination, Piemonte asked Ruby why she kept coming over to Massey’s apartment if he was molesting her.

When Ruby responded by saying she liked coming over there, Piemonte rolled his eyes.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me,” Ruby responded forcefully.

“The judge should have admonished her,” Piemonte said but did nothing.

A call to Martusewicz’s chambers was left unreturned.

Scanlon’s daughter was also allowed to change the timeline of the alleged abuse.

When she originally accused Massey, Scanlon’s daughter claimed the abuse started in November 2010 and lasted into the spring 2011.

“Parent substitute, Jon Massey is reported to have sexually abused Ruby from the fall of 2010 to the spring of 2011,” according to a DSS petition filed with the court on August 3, 2012. The lead Detective, John Romano of the Watertown City Police Department, also presented a similar time line.

“On unknown dates between the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011 the above subject (Massey) did commit a class D felony of criminal sexual act in the second degree,” Romano, now a Sargent, wrote in an arrest report on July 25, 2012.

But by July 2013, Scanlon’s daughter had changed her story and was now saying that the abuse occurred starting in the fall 2009 and lasted to the spring 2010.

Piemonte said that he doesn’t believe this was some coincidence or mix up. On July 11, 2013, he held an ex-parte hearing with the judge, Kim Martusewicz and asked to allow him to withhold Massey’s doctor’s reports showing that Massey had kidney stone surgery in the fall of 2010 causing impotence and developed a yeast infection on his genitals as a result of medication following that surgery.

Piemonte asked the judge to withhold this information from the prosecution to try and impeach Ruby during her testimony.

The judge denied Peimonte’s motion and the medical evidence was turned over shortly thereafter. On July 8, 2013, Piemonte cross-examined Dr. Samuel Rubenzahl, a psychiatrist the county had examine Scanlon’s daughter, and he continued to state that the abuse occurred from 2010-2011.

“She initially said seventh grade or eighth grade, and then during the second interview she said it occurred during eighth grade not ninth grade.” Dr. Rubenzahl said. “Later in that second interview, she discussed when it occurred, and was consistent that it occurred during her eighth grade year.”

Scanlon’s daughter would have been in eighth grade during the 2010-2011 school year.

Days later, the prosecution changed the timeline.

“The indictment reflects a timeframe from August 1, 2010 through April l, 2011 in which the alleged criminal acts occurred.” The assistant district attorney, Patricia Dziuba, said in a letter to Martusewicz on July 15, 2013. “In the course of preparing, it now appears that the proper timeframe in which the complainant alleges the acts occurred is actually August 2009 through April 2010.”

The Jefferson County DA’s office held a new grand jury on July 18, 2013, and a superseding indictment was filed based on the new timeframe.

Because this was a new indictment, the defense was limited in what it could present regarding the original timeline as that was part of an indictment which was no longer active.

Dr. Rubenzahl wasn’t called by the prosecutors during Massey’s trial.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s office declined comment because the case has been sealed.

Piemonte explained that because of a quirk in the law since Massey hadn’t yet been sentenced he was still considered not guilty and the judge had no choice but to seal the case.

Scanlon said even this new timeline presents problems because she and Massey were broken up at the time and Massey wasn’t over at her house enough to groom her daughter.

Neighbors and friends of Scanlon’s along with Ruby’s half-brother and sister all told the Daily Caller that the believe Massey was innocent and that the investigation was one sided.

“None of it was true,” Andy Williams, Margaret Williams’ husband, said of the allegations against Massey.

Williams said he forbade his own daughter from spending time with Ruby after he discovered Ruby posted a video of her vandalizing a school on Facebook.

Williams said nothing he and his wife, Margaret, said to DSS ever made it into any report.

“DSS never called me when Jon first got in trouble, I had to call them and threaten them (to take his statement)”.

Khris and Linda Lavere are neighbors concurred with the assessment of the Williams’ family about the DSS investigation.

“He (the DSS investigator) stood on the porch,” Khris Lavere said recalling his DSS interview. “I told him, listen, what you’re trying to prove- to say he’s guilty. He’s an innocent man and that girl needs mental help.”

A call was left to the Jefferson County DSS office but was left unreturned.

In family court, not only was Scanlon forced to leave the proceedings because Ruby said her presence made her uncomfortable but the family court judge unsealed the verdict only which Scanlon said made it seem as though she was responsible for Massey’s conviction.

Ruby is currently living with Scanlon’s step-sister and a phone call at her law office was left unreturned.