Bethel Incest Defendant Fails to Win Public Defender

George Sayers, the defendant charged with making pornography tapes of his daughter and another girl, as well as having a child with his daughter, was denied a public defender Friday.

George Sayers, who is out on a $750,000 bond, was denied a public defender Friday in Danbury Superior Court.

Sayers showed up for court in a brown turtleneck, khacki pants and work shoes. He learned he didn't qualify for a public defender, and asked for about five weeks to locate one.

Judge Joseph Doherty told Sayers the next time he shows up in court he must appear with an attorney. The court date is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Sayers, 46, and his daughter, Tiffany Hartford, 23, are accused of having a child together. Sayers and Hartford were charged on Dec. 3 with obscenity, third-degree sexual assault and conspiracy to commit obscenity. In addition to having a child together, the father and daughter are also charged with making pornographic videos starring Hartford and another woman. Court records said the videos sold for $40 and still photographs sold for $5 each.

Hartford appeared at her hearing in Danbury Superior Court about an hour before Sayers.

Judge Doherty told the court he received two letters about Miss Hartford, one from Danbury Hospital and one from Western Connecticut Mental Health Network. He said the letters were complimentary to Hartford, and he said he wanted to say that for the record. He said she should continue to be compliant with what the programs ask her to do, and work on her issues.

Hartford appeared in blue jeans, a red shirt with a black windbreaker over it, a lip ring and black high heel shoes.

Captain Obvious December 22, 2012 at 03:11 PM
How can someone be denied the right to counsel? I suppose the judge must have ruled that the defendant can afford his own attorney. I'd further suppose the judge hasn't looked at what criminal defense attorneys charge lately .... Call up your neighborhood defense attorney: ask him(her) what a defense with 1,000 hours of research and 4 weeks of hearings will cost. The amount will astound you. I'm just guessing at a half million bucks for this one. (Not that these defendants are likely to be paragons of decency, but every accused has the right to competent counsel.) The door is being left open for more than one possible route of appeal. Just one layman's opinion: wrong ruling, Your Honor.
Laura Barber December 22, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Captain obvious...you are supporting this guy for what he did to his children?? Is something wrong with you? He has a right to counsel just like you and me but he has to pay for it just like you and me would have to pay for it. Frankly using public funds to defend someone who abused his own children is something I find unacceptable...Thank you , your Honor!
Keith Pullman December 22, 2012 at 05:57 PM
This prosecution is ridiculous. They are consenting adults experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction (he did not raise her) and they should be allowed to raise their son and not be prosecuted for CONSENSUAL sex. The laws of the state would allow her to have casual group sex with three strangers in their 50s, a different group every night, but she can't choose this relationship for herself? It is her body, her choice. What a waste of law enforcement resources.
Francesco A.A. Mastracchio December 23, 2012 at 02:34 AM
The novel THE SCARLET LETTER could provide solutions for scandalous behavior as this. I am not well versed in Connecticut laws, but this disgusting exhibition of seething incest is prohibited in New York as it well should be here as well. Prosecute to the fullest extent of whatever laws can be found that were violated.
Captain Obvious December 23, 2012 at 04:09 AM
No no, not supporting this guy at all (presuming, of course, that he's guilty, and I don't claim to know that) -- I don't know him or anyone who knows him. But if he's accused, the US Constitution and several supporting Supreme Court decisions says he's entitled to counsel. Look, I don't like where a lot of public funds go. But this guy is accused of a horrible crime. If, by chance, he happens to be not guilty, I can't see anyone denying him a competent attorney to defend him. Would you? If you REALLY don't want to waste public funds, then you don't want an appeal on technical grounds in the event that he is guilty. It's the judge's job not to leave doors open for appeal.


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