Why isn't Mel Gibson's Russian girlfriend charged with wiretapping?
By Martin Hill
July 17, 2010

Mel Gibson and his ex girlfriend, 40 year old Oksana Grigorieva, have gotten international attention after audiotapes allegedly between the two have been released to the public. The tapes, which include raging profanity-laced tirades purportedly voiced by Gibson, were released by radaronline in a melodramatic day-by-day manner, custom-made for Hollywood gossip rags.

Grigorieva, who has a twelve year old son with James Bond actor Timothy Dalton, has denied that she released the audiotapes People Magazine reported Friday that Gibson and Grigorieva had signed a contract in May guaranteeing that the conversations she taped, which allegedly took place in February, would never go public.

This past Thursday, L.A. Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon allowed Gibson to continue visitation with his eight month old baby daughter, including overnight visits, yet at the same time, demanded Gibson surrender any firearms that he owns. Judge Gibson is a former Santa Monica police officer and prosecutor, who served as a 'legal specialist' for the so-called U.N. "International Court". This may explain his anti-gun bias. Judge Gordon wrote a book in 2003 outlining Hitler's atrocities. He was appointed to his current Superior Court position only  three months ago by soon-to-be termed out Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, another notorious gun grabber and son of a Nazi officer.

One aspect of this case that I haven't seen addressed is the legality of the taping itself.

PrivacyRights.org explains:

"...the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have acknowledged the importance of privacy in telephone conversations by placing additional restrictions on tape recording such conversations.
California law does not allow tape recording of telephone calls unless all parties to the conversation consent (California Penal Code 632), or they are notified of the recording by a distinct "beep tone" warning (CPUC General Order 107-B(II)(A)(5)). However, tape recordings can legally be made if an individual or members of one's family are threatened with kidnapping, extortion, bribery or another felony involving violence. The person receiving the threats can make a tape recording without informing the other party. (California Penal Code 633.5)
Federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted laws based on the federal standard. But 12 states, including California, require the consent of all parties to the call under most circumstances..."

The Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press states "It is a crime in California to intercept or eavesdrop upon any confidential communication, including a telephone call or wire communication, without the consent of all parties. Cal. Penal Code §§ 631, 632." The site goes on to cite many legal precedents regarding various situations.

There are a lot of unknowns in this case. If the recordings are actually of Gibson and they were made without his consent, which would seem to be the case, why would he have signed a contract with Grigorieva in May barring public release of the tapes, instead of seeking criminal prosecution? If the tapes were made in California, is law enforcement not prosecuting Grigorieva because of the clause in the law regarding "another felony involving violence"?

California Penal Code Section 633.5 states "Nothing in Section 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, or 632.7
prohibits one party to a confidential communication from recording the communication for the purpose of obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to the commission by another party to the communication of the crime of extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, or a violation of Section 653m. Nothing in Section 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, or 632.7 renders any evidence so obtained inadmissible in a prosecution for extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, a violation of Section 653m, or any crime in connection therewith."

California Penal Code Section 653m states, in part, "(a) Every person who, with intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of an electronic communication device with another and addresses to or about the other person any obscene language or addresses to the other person any threat to inflict injury to the person or property of the person addressed or any member of his or her family, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic
contacts made in good faith. (b) Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device, or makes any combination of calls or contact, to another person is, whether or not conversation ensues from making the telephone call or contact by means of an electronic communication device, guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business."

Here is a Brief Overview ofThe Wiretap Law (By the Public Defenders for the County of Los Angeles)

On another note, it has been reported that the Department of Child Protective Services has become involved in the Gibson- Grigorieva case and has interviewed her twelve year old son. It should be interesting to see how this case develops.

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, Whittier Daily News, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Veterans Today, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, Jonathan Turley blog, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, Dr. Kevin Barret's Truth Jihad radio show, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com.