Socialite Hadley Palmer who filmed sexual acts of 3 minors FREED after only 90 days
The socialite had opted to serve 90 days before her sentencing on August 2, when she could receive a much harsher jail term of up to 5 years
GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT: A wealthy socialite was released from custody after she pleaded guilty to secretly recording minors engaging in sexual acts. The 53-year-old Hadley Palmer was snapped exiting the York Correctional Institute on Wednesday, May 4, after being held there in custody since February 4.
She is reportedly facing between 90 days and five years in prison after admitting the offenses in January. The socialite opted to serve 90 days before her sentencing on August 2, when she could receive a much harsher jail term.
Palmer was arrested last October. She pleaded guilty in January to three counts of voyeurism and risk of injury to a minor, after prosecutors alleged she had "knowingly photographed, filmed and recorded three individuals" at her $10 million mansion in 2017 and 2018 without their knowledge. The victims were minors, with one under the age of 16, but two of the most serious charges against Palmer were dropped as part of the plea deal, including employing a minor in an obscene performance and possession of child pornography.
A judge ruled that the case should be sealed saying the need to protect the young victims was more important than the public's knowledge about the proceedings. However, Palmer is required to register as a sex offender as part of the agreement. Judge John Blawie asked in court on Wednesday whether the state was satisfied with the 90 days Palmer has already served in prison or if prosecutors would be seeking more prison time for her. "The court's question is this: Does the state now consider the 90 days that the defendant just served by agreement to be sufficient in terms of the period of incarceration you will be asking for at sentencing?" Blawie asked, as quoted by the Middletown Press. "Absolutely not," the Assistant State's Attorney Daniel Cummings responded.
According to the Press, Palmer's attorney Michael Meehan asked the court to modify the conditions of her release to remove GPS monitoring before she was freed from custody. He also requested the state to strike a condition that prohibited his client from owning any cellular or electronic devices. Cummings reportedly agreed as long as all camera functionality is permanently disabled.
BREAKING: Hadley Palmer, of Greenwich, who pleaded guilty to secretly recording minors in her home, has been released from custody. Palmer began serving 90 days at York Correctional Institute on 2/4–before she was even sentenced (that’s set for 8/2). @News12CT pic.twitter.com/wTPUPkaWYH— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) May 4, 2022
The specifics of the case, including details of what Palmer exactly did with the minors, are unclear after Judge Blawie ruled in February that the entire file should be sealed to protect the victims' identity. He said that opening the documents with redactions could also lead to the minor victims being identified. "Between 2017 and 2018, the defendant knowingly photographed, filmed, and recorded certain individuals without their knowledge or consent, and under circumstances where those individuals were not in plain view, and had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and at least one photograph taken by the defendant depicted a person who was a minor," the judge wrote.
According to the Daily Mail, Hadley filed an application following her arrest in October for a special probation program known as "accelerated rehabilitation" that led to the file being sealed. The program is reportedly reserved for first-time offenders and can be used by defendants charged with Class C felonies but only with "good cause." However, many are wondering whether Palmer is receiving preferential treatment due to her extreme privilege. Property records state that Palmer, the daughter of hedge fund pioneer Jerrold Fine, was living in a $10million home in Belle Haven, Connecticut, at the time of the alleged crimes in 2017 and 2018.
The socialite's kids attended reputed private schools like The Wharton School and she was a well-known figure on the Connecticut social circuit, often photographed at various gala benefits. Speaking to the Associated Press, legal experts said it was highly unusual for Palmer's file to be sealed immediately, with some claiming she did not qualify for accelerated rehab.
A psychologist has also been charged in the case for failing to report what she is accused of doing. Dr. Jerome Brodlie was charged with intentionally not reporting his client's crimes to the authorities as required by law. According to the New York Times, Palmer filed for divorce from her wealthy financier husband Bradley Palmer in June 2020 after she alleged he wanted to access her social media for evidence of an affair. The husband had reportedly grown suspicious of his socialite wife and is now seeking sole custody of their youngest child who is a minor. Bradley and Hadley Palmer have four kids together, three of whom are young adults.