Online comments lead to change of venue request in Michelle Mayer case

The Eau Claire woman accused of prostituting two children for nine years in exchange for money and drugs wants her trial moved.

Michelle Mayer’s lawyer filed a motion in Eau Claire County Circuit Court. He claims comments posted by area residents on social media show that some people are already talking about what sentence she should get, even though she hasn’t even had a trial yet. He gave examples of those comments: One called Mayer " the face of pure evil", others: " a worthless pig" and "the devil". Some called for her to get the electric chair, or to be lynched.

According to the motion:

"Some of the comments state Ms. Mayer is the face of pure evil and has no reason or purpose to walk the earth; other comments question why spend ‘taxpayer money on a trial for this worthless pig’; other comments opine that Ms. Mayer should receive life in prison or call for the death penalty".

"The comments tell of community members who call Ms. Mayer an animal, offering to ‘strap her into an electric chair and flip the switch’ stating she is the devil, wanting to maker her suffer, and even posting pictures of nooses suggesting she should be lynched".

Mayer’s lawyer says the "public villainizing" of Mayer has permeated the area from which her jury would be chosen, preventing her from getting a fair trial.

"The pervasiveness of the news, the comments, and the case in which any person can post a comment nearly assures the prospective jurors will be familiar with the publicity. This will make the jury selection process much more difficult in finding an Eau Claire County juror who is unbiased and has not read or heard the negativity of this matter."

He’s asking that the trial be moved to another county, or that the jury be picked in a different county. A hearing on the motion is set for July 25th.

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