Scientology's® Assault of
Paulette Cooper

Nolle Prosequi of Paulette Cooper

with a comment mostly by Maureen Garde

The Nolle Prosequi, filed on 16 September 1975, states:

3. In October, 1973 the government agreed that if PAULETTE MARCIA COOPER would undergo continuous medical treatment for a year, the government would file a Nolle Prosequi after completion of the year.

4. The government has been notified that PAULETTE MARCIA COOPER has been receiving regular medical treatment for the year agreed upon.

5. Under the circumstances, the government does not believe that further prosecution of PAULETTE MARCIA COOPER is necessary or in the public interest.

The full Nolle Prosequi is not available. The three paragraphs above appear as footnote 2 in Justice Eugene R. Wolin's Summary Judgment of Paulette Cooper v. Church of Scientology of New York, Inc., et al., Index Number 6732/72, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, dated 2 June 1982.

The nol pros agreement with a condition like this is completely consistent with a government belief that Paulette was guilty of the bomb threats. It is consistent with a belief that while she did send the threats, she did not have the means to carry them out, and was unlikely to try to obtain the means to carry them out. It is consistent with a belief that she made the threats as a result of a mental problem not rising to the standard for a not guilty by reason of insanity under federal law. It is consistent with a belief that a year of therapy during which she made no further bomb threats would be sufficient demonstration that she was unlikely ever to do it again.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, and other prosecutorial agencies, often enter into agreements that require therapy or treatment of some kind as a condition of the agreement. They do it in cases where they enter into deals with people whom they believe are guilty of a crime. They do not do it in cases where, even though they believe the defendant to be innocent, they think that a year of psychotherapy might be good for the person's head.

In addition, the idea that the government would routinely accept the results of a privately-conducted test involving sodium pentathol, as indicative of innocence, is not credible. If the government regarded such tests as reliable indicators of guilt or innocence, we'd be hearing a lot more about accused people who protest their innocence submitting to them. In my knowledge and experience (albeit limited), when psychiatric tests are done, the government doesn't rely on those done privately, they require the accused to submit to their psychiatrist; sometimes the court requires a court-appointed shrink as well.

In conclusion, the Nolle Prosequi ended the prosecution by the U.S. Attorney Office. It did not clear Paulette Cooper from the purported bomb threats. Only later, during the FBI raids on Scientology, Paulette Cooper's innocence was shown. It may even be possible - and appears likely - that the record of the criminal disposition was never expunged. Monica Pignotti reported that Paulette Cooper was not willing to pay the necessary legal fees.