The Review-Journal David Ferrara reported on June 12, 2014 that “the victim Romy Minko became intoxicated the night of Jan. 22, and Joseph told the others he would take care of her, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Megan Thomson. Joseph took her to his hotel room, where he sexually assaulted her before she ran out of the room naked and contacted a security guard, Thomson said.” Joseph was arrested the next morning.
District Attorney Megan Thomson said Joseph told the others he would take care of her. What “others” was he referring to, because she (Thomson) never interviewed or subpoenaed the others — such as Luis Garcia or Zach Smith, or most importantly, the two guys sharing the hotel room with Romy Minko and her friend, MC. The only one who was man enough to come to court on his own expense was Jeffrey Fogel.
We need to understand that Mr. Ferrara was not reporting about the case, but just printing the words expressed to him by Deputy District Attorney Megan Thomson. Mr. Ferrara assumed that Ms. Megan Thomson was telling him the truth, but we all know what happens when we assume.
One of the supposed OTHERS was Jeffrey Fogel, who was driving the car back from the airport where they had just dropped off Zach Smith, the one-night sexual stand of Romy Minko.
According to what DDA Megan Thomson told David Ferrara, Donovan Joseph was arrested the next day as he was trying to escape from authorities, but actually he was arrested a short time later the same night when he was wandering around the hotel looking for the distressed drunken Romy.
I wondered, as I am sure many other people are wondering, why this young man tried to help someone so drunk, whom he hadn’t even met before. I asked him that question during a telephone conversation and he told me: “First of all, I have two sisters, [and] — even though they do not drink alcoholic beverages — I would be forever grateful if they ever find themselves in distress for whatever reason and a good Samaritan extends a hand to them. Also, I worked in Miami as a volunteer helping young people, of both sexes, involved in drugs and alcohol addiction, and at the time I thought it was a moral obligation to help a person in such a drunkenness state as Romy Minko was.”
Another person who testified during the trial of Donovan (JJ) Joseph was Crystal May, a forensic scientist within the biology DNA forensic laboratory detail of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. At the time she had worked in that capacity for eight years.
There was a strong possibility that the DNA from his hand was found in Romy Minko’s hand. He never denied that he held her hand to prevent her from falling since she was in no condition to walk straight.
Ms. May testified that the oral, vaginal, cervical and rectal swabs taken were all consistent with Romy Minko.
According to the forensic scientist when she examined the dress worn by Romy Minko under regular and alternate light, she did not see any particular spots to focus on.
The forensic scientist also testified that she examined Romy Minko’s underwear and continued her exam by swabbing the outside of the crotch of the panties based on the victim’s statement given in the SANE kit narrative. For those not familiar with the alphabet soup, SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The SANE conclusion was that the evidence showed a mixture of two individuals, with at least one being a male.
In her testimony, Crystal May said that Donovan Joseph cannot be excluded as a contributor.
Excluded means not included or to be left out. There were two men in the same hotel rooms from San Francisco to Las Vegas that were supposed to be ordered to provide their DNA. There was also Zach Smith, who had sex with Romy Minko on the night of January 22, 2014, but Deputy District Attorney Megan Thomson failed to investigate those three. Shame, shame, shame on Deputy District Attorney Megan Thomson.
Was there any reason why Donovan Joseph was singled out? Because he is Hispanic, of English descent, and black?
Donovan Joseph’s case is on appeal, and we wish him the best of luck in the very near future.
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky, email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.