He graduated summa cum laude from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, in May of 1980 with a degree in biology/pre-medical and a minor in chemistry. From there he went to the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston and graduated in 1984.
In August 1998 his then wife, Sacha, was having an affair with her hairdresser and petitioned for divorce and requested a restraining order against Dr. Emerson. At the time Dr. Emerson was a gun collector with about 30 guns of different types. And this was just a couple of years after the Lautenberg Amendment passed in 1996 so the connection between guns and restraining orders under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) was not widely known, and certainly not to Dr. Emerson or even the state judge that issued the order.
After divorcing him, Sacha saw him in public with another woman and stormed into the office of his medical practice in mid-November 1998 and created a scene. After that she stormed out and told police Dr. Emerson had threatened her with a gun. At that point he was arrested on both federal and state charges.
He was acquitted on the state charges and the federal charges were initially dismissed as violating his 2 nd and 5 th Amendment rights. His case is momentous in that this was the first time a federal judge had ever ruled that the 2 nd Amendment is an individual right rather than a collective right. The US Attorney, however, appealed the dismissal and that began a series of rulings in federal courts, culminating most recently in D.C vs. Heller in which it has been conclusively established that the 2 nd Amendment is an individual right rather than a collective one.
While the 2 nd Amendment emerged a victor in this tale of infidelity and vindictiveness, Dr. Emerson did not, and does not fair well. After exhausting his appeals on October 7, 2002, Dr. Emerson was convicted by a federal jury of violating the Lautenberg Amendment and being in possession of a firearm while under a restraining order. Shortly after his conviction, Dr. Emerson underwent open heart surgery on October 19, 2002, at public expense.
Violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), the Lautenberg Amendment, carries a mandatory sentence of 5 to 10 years. On December 11, 2002, Dr. Emerson was sentenced to thirty (30) months detention in a Federal penitentiary to be followed by an additional 30 months on federal supervised release.
All appeals being exhausted, and following a contretemps with a troubled cashier at the local Wal-Mart, he began serving his sentence at the federal penitentiary in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 28, 2003.
Because of its association with fundamental rights the Equal Justice Foundation has presented his case in exhausting detail. But there is little difference in his case from what millions of other men have, and are enduring under the insanity of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Lautenberg. Only close relatives seem to follow up on the destruction of children, families, and downward spiral of lives these practices cause under the guise of "law and order." However, the Equal Justice Foundation has kept in contact with Dr. Emerson. We updated his story in August 2006 after he was released from prison and was serving his supervised release back in San Angelo. The following update brings Dr. Emerson's continuing downward spiral at the hands of a vengeful and vindictive woman up to date.
Any man can be made to appear to be a dangerous criminal under current laws, particularly in a place like San Angelo in Hang 'em High Tom Green County, Texas. Also keep in mind that this is a man who graduated summa cum laude from college and successfully completed medical school. And he is only one of about 15 medical doctors who have contacted the Equal Justice Foundation about similar injustices under the Violence Against Women Act. If we've heard from 15 there are at least a thousand more MD's in similar straits.
Mention is never made of the continued destruction of lives associated with the insane practices of the DV and divorce industry. In no way is Dr. Emerson's experience different from now millions of other men driven from their children, families, homes, and businesses on to the streets. One only need to look along the nearest creek to see the burgeoning tent cities of homeless. Many of them are combat veterans as well in our neck of the woods.
He had managed to find Section 8 housing at the DunBar Motel in San Angelo and work as a part-time desk clerk. As a desk clerk he was making $7 an hour and working three days a week with a total income of ~$730 a month.
From that his wages were garnished to pay child support of $240 per month. Recall that the reason he was paying child support at all was that his ex-wife, Sacha, was having an affair with her hairdresser and got a restraining order against him and had him arrested and imprisoned. But with food stamps he was surviving.
He even had a female friend, who could hardly have been after his money. She worked at the Salvation Army Thrift Store where they would often hang out when Tim wasn't working. His friend also had a three-year old son that Dr. Emerson befriended.
As so often happens with children estranged from their fathers, in January-February of 2009 his daughter, Logan, now 15, wanted to see her father. They were texting back and forth, exchanging email, and they were friends on MySpace, something we see very commonly. And Logan even had a boyfriend as teenage girls will, who Dr. Emerson had a chance to meet and approve of.
But Logan told Dr. Emerson that whenever she missed the bus her stepfather would get mad and spank her because she wasn't home early to clean the house. Personally I have a problem with stepfathers "spanking" teenage girls.
Apparently as a result of such actions Logan told her mother that she wanted to go live with her real father. As you who have been through these nightmares know, the manure hit the revolving steel blade. Her mother and stepfather cut off her email, MySpace page, cell phone, and the boyfriend.
Shortly thereafter, as all too many of you have seen and experienced, an anonymous (Sacha?) phone call was made to Child Protective Services (CPS) claiming Dr. Emerson and his female friend were living together and he was molesting the little boy. As his female friend and he had never so much as spent a night together, he hadn't lived at the reported address for almost three years, and had never been alone with the boy for more than a few minutes, after an "investigation" CPS was "unable to determine" that there was any basis to the abuse claims. And, of course, the "investigation" was completed without ever talking to Dr. Emerson.
Unfortunately, that wasn't Dr. Emerson's first brush with false allegations of sexual abuse. While married to his second wife in 1987 he was taking care of her eight-year-old daughter from her previous relationship. The little girl did not practice good hygiene, as children are noted for not doing, and often developed bacterial vaginitis as a result. Recall that Tim Emerson was a practicing medical doctor, fully accredited and licensed. But for trying to help his stepdaughter with an infection the girl's father filed charges of sexual assault against him.
For comparison you may recall that a fake call by Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs, Colorado posing as an abused and victimized girl on March 29, 2008, triggered a large-scale operation at Yearning For Zion Ranch based out of Tom Green County by Texas law enforcement and child welfare (CPS) officials. The raid began with cordoning off of the ranch on April 3 rd by law enforcement officers armed with automatic weapons, SWAT teams with snipers, helicopters, and an M113 armored personnel carrier. But they met with no armed resistance in this new-millennia imitation of a Gestapo raid on Jews. The raid took 462 children from their parents, 130 of them under five who were taken by force from their mothers crying and screaming.
As you might imagine these agents of the "justice" system showed no mercy in the earlier case of Dr. Emerson. He was coerced into taking a plea bargain for sexual assault and was given a deferred sentence and probation.
As we constantly tell men in similar situations, once you take a plea bargain, which is an admission of guilt and a conviction for the crime, or are convicted at trial of domestic violence or sexual assault or abuse, it will haunt you for the rest of your life. That is why we strongly recommend that anyone in such situations obtain a copy of Dean Tong's book Elusive Innocence: Survival Guide For The Falsely Accused for guidance, and fight to their last breath to maintain their innocence if freedom has any meaning to them.
Since CPS, their minions, and informers (guess who?) couldn't establish that Dr. Emerson was not molesting a little boy, another tactic was employed involving the now two-decade old case. In April 2009 he received a certified letter from the San Angelo Police Department stating that while his 1987 conviction did not require he register as a sex offender, under subsequently passed laws now he did.
While Dr. Emerson was on probation for his Lautenberg conviction his federal probation officer, together with Texas Department of Public Safety, who oversees all of the sex offender registrations, had determined that he did not have to register since it was a deferred sentence, probation had been successfully completed, and the case was two decades old and predated current sex offender laws.
Ex post facto had no meaning to the San Angelo police detective who came to interview Dr. Emerson on June 11, 2009. The next day, Friday, the detective came back with a uniformed officer and arrested him for failure to register as a sex offender.
As new laws have been passed since 1987, failure to register as a sex offender is now a felony. Thus, a defendant must wait to see a judge before they can post bond. And anything involving Dr. Emerson is news in San Angelo and Tom Green County where law West of the Pecos still seems to operate on the Judge Roy Bean principle of "Hang 'em first, try 'em later."
On Saturday morning Dr. Emerson went before a Justice of the Peace and his bond was set at $5,000. Recall that he was making ~$730 a month and paying $240 a month in child support, and spent thirty months in federal prison because his ex-wife, Sacha, had an affair with her hairdresser. And, of course, it is only coincidence that his problems with the law began anew in 2009 shortly after his daughter told Sacha she wanted to live with dad.
Tough at any time to raise a bond on a weekend if you don't have ready cash. Trying desperately to get out of jail before his life was destroyed again, on Sunday Dr. Emerson called one of his ex-patients who still thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread and told him the situation about a bondsman. An hour or so later "little Jimmy" shows up from the bonding company he has used since Sacha first started playing her games in 1998 and they are on a first name basis. Dr. Emerson was thus able to post bond on Sunday afternoon and get out of jail again.
Of course by now the news story is all over San Angelo. "Little Jimmy" gave Dr. Emerson a ride back to the DunBar Motel where he worked and had a small apartment. But the locks had been changed and he no longer had a job because he had been arrested for "failure to register as a sex offender." Remember, in Tom Green County they grab the kids and hang the adults then have a trial, particularly when it can be claimed they are arresting evil, filthy sex offenders.
Dr. Emerson was given a public defender and he went to see her on Monday. She seemed fairly knowledgeable but she didn't have his records yet and he is told to call her in a week. He tried to reach her after a week but she isn't in and doesn't return his calls. She also wasn't physically there when he went to her office. Any of you who have depended on a public defender have likely played a similar charade.
Strangely, though he was charged with a felony, his case remained at the magistrate level and he could find no district court case number or indictment filed. But he does have one stroke of luck and manages to win $500 in a contest with which to pay the bail bondsman so he is able to stay out of jail.
Wisely, Dr. Emerson filed for unemployment insurance as soon after he found he had lost his job as possible. Of course that takes two to three weeks to start coming in and child support will be deducted before he gets a nickel of it. Since he no longer has a job he also applied for county indigent health care to obtain medical attention for his heart condition as, presumably, with no income and no property he should qualify.
Before Sacha got the hots for the hairdresser, Dr. Emerson owned a 1975 MG Midget. After his 1998 arrest on federal charges he parked the MG on the friend of a friend's property. While he was in prison that property was sold and the car disappeared. But his application for health care was denied because state records showed he still owned that car and had more resources than allowed.
Dr. Emerson over the years has had a great deal of practice investigating. Doing so after his indigent health care was denied he found that in March 2009 someone had taken "his" ID to the Dallas Department of Motor Vehicles, signed his signature, and got a certified title issued for the MG. However, Dr. Emerson's ID had expired December 28, 2008, and he hasn't left Tom Green County since he got out of prison in 2005. Dr. Emerson wishes whoever stole his identity better luck with it than he has had. But he can't get health care because of this theft.
With the loss of his job at DunBar Motel Dr. Emerson also ran into problems with outstanding checks totalling $605, primarily for medications he needed for his heart condition. With no income the checks bounced. As a result a week after he got out of jail on the failure to register as a sex offender charge he was back in municipal court on a bad check charge.
He pled not guilty based on a defense of necessity, which is an affirmative defense if the harm done was not as bad as the harm that would have been done if he hadn't written the checks. But the jury found him guilty and ordered him to pay fines, fees, and restitution totaling $1,200 and take a hot check class that would cost him $75.
On receipt of that letter he called the public housing authority and told them that he did not have to register as a sex offender and got a certified copy of the dismissal of his casein 1992. Court records proved that he was not subject to any of the pains or penalties associated with the offense to which he had pled guilty after that date.
He then took the proof to the public housing authority and, remarkably, after a few days they called him back and told him they would continue his Section 8 rental assistance. So as of August 1 st they would pay all but $50 of his rent in Section 8 housing. However, if it was later determined that he did have to register as a sex offender his assistance would be terminated as of June 30, 2009, and that he would have to repay any assistance given after that date.
On August 6, 2009, almost nine weeks after he applied, the Texas Workforce Commission contacted Dr. Emerson. After a 15-minute conversation it was determined that he had to fax copies of the letter from the police department, the judge's dismissal of his case, and a copy of the law that was in effect in 1992. Somehow he managed to do that. Late on Friday, August 7 th their web site indicated his claim for unemployment benefits had been approved and that he would receive $113 a week.
That was Friday afternoon. On Monday Dr. Emerson checked their web site to see if any of his unemployment benefits had been credited. But now he was told he was ineligible for benefits because he had been fired from his job. And if he wanted to appeal he had to do it before August 24 th . So still no money coming! And anyone who has had to appeal an unemployment claim knows it takes months.
Friday, August 7, 2009, did, however, have some good news. The Tom Green County web site that day showed the case against him for failing to register as a sex offender had been dismissed as the grand jury failed to indict him.
Recall that these new criminal charges against Dr. Emerson began shortly after his daughter told her mother that she wanted to live with her father. And though his case was dismissed and he does not have to register as a sex offender he had to pay $500 bail bond, lost his apartment, lost his job, and apparently owns a car that he has no idea where it has been for ten or twelve years and, as a result, can't get health care because he is so rich. His only viable transportation is a bicycle but his heart condition limits how far he can ride it. Because of food stamps he did have something to eat.
Unable to pay, or make payments on the $1,200 in fines and fees for the bounced checks Dr. Emerson went back to jail from August 19 to August 27, 2009. While in jail he was served with an eviction notice on August 20 th and a Justice of the Peace formally evicted him on August 28 th , the day after he got out of jail.
While he did win his appeal for unemployment insurance by the end of September he was homeless with his stuff in storage and he was living in a tent. His only form of transportation is a bicycle and though San Angelo is flatland his heart condition made it exhausting for him to ride any distance, but his only Internet and email access is at a public library. And he has difficulty concentrating once he reaches the library due to exhaustion.
Since May of 2005 Dr. Emerson has been applying for SSI disability but it was originally denied in January 2006 because he is not disabled from performing work as a physician. He appealed the decision the first of March 2006 on the grounds that, while he was not disabled from performing work as a physician, however, due to wrongful prosecution, he was no longer licensed as a physician. As of this writing in November 2009 he has received no response to his appeal, possibly because his mail has gone astray.
By mid-October 2009, having won his appeal, he was receiving an unemployment check of $83 a week after child support was taken out. Remember that he is paying child support because his ex-wife couldn't keep her knees together and his 2009 downward spiral begins after his now 15-year-old daughter tells the ex she wants to live with dad.
His appeal for renewed Section 8 housing assistance was slowly making its way through the bureaucracy and on November 3, 2009, the Equal Justice Foundation received a form requesting that we verify the amount and dates of assistance we had provided Dr. Emerson. He has been told that once evicted from Section 8 housing it is virtually impossible to requalify and, even if he did requalify, the waiting list results in a delay of a year-and-half before he could get housing assistance again.
Clearly he needs to get out of San Angelo and Tom Green County, Texas, if he is ever to have a chance at rebuilding his life. The Equal Justice Foundation has been seeking assistance for relocating him so far without success. But help would be much appreciated.