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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

USA - Iron Order’s New Low

The Iron Order Motorcycle Club, which has branded itself as a “law abiding motorcycle club” has been using club funds to defend a convicted child molester in a civil lawsuit for the last two years.
Timothy “Munch” Martin, sergeant at arms for the Reading, Pennsylvania “Kameraden Chapter” of the IOMC is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the estate of Tonya Marie Focht. Martin is represented by John C. Whitfield of Madisonville, Kentucky. Whifield is the Director of Legal Affairs for the Iron Order.


Focht died on June 19, 2015 after she and her fiancé (Mark Groff) were harassed and attacked by Iron Order members and associates at a restaurant named the Bar-B-Q Pit in Sinking Springs near Reading. According to an amended complaint filed Monday in Philadelphia, after Focht “and her fiancé, Mark Groff, entered the subject drinking establishment, lOMC members began to verbally accost Ms. Focht and Mr. Groff. At some later point, a member of the lOMC threw a pitcher of some type of substance water, or melted ice) onto Ms. Focht.”
“As Ms. Focht and Mr. Groff attempted to leave the establishment, they were again accosted, verbally and physically, by members of the lOMC, which had taken steps to call in ‘reinforcements’ in the form of other lOMC members. Mr. Groff was physically engaged by several IOMC members, with Ms. Focht nearby. Approximately three lOMC members were on top of Mr. Groff and held him on the ground while pummeling him. One of those lOMC members was Defendant Martin. Ms. Focht attempted to pull one IOMC member off of Mr. Groff so that she and her fiancé could leave…. As Ms. Focht attempted to assist her fiancé, a member of the lOMC, Defendant Martin, punched Ms. Focht in the face and knocked her backwards into the side of a moving
motor vehicle.”
Focht’s head was crushed and she died. She was a student at Alvernia University in Reading. She is survived by two orphans.

Small Charges

Iron Order member Wayne “Mo” Ritchie, Martin and Groff were all charged with disorderly conduct. No other charges were filed. Focht’s estate filed suit in July 2015. The estate is now represented by two Philadelphia lawyers, Timothy G. Daly and Slade H. McLaughlin.
Pretrial discovery in the case has been very extensive and has included multiple, video recorded depositions. Michael “Cgar” Crouse, an Army lieutenant colonel and the current Iron Order vice-president who was national sergeant at arms when Focht was killed, testified on behalf of the Iron Order as the “person most knowledgeable” to speak for the club on November 10 of last year. Club president Patrick “Brit” Ward was present for the deposition but did not testify. The club was represented at that and all other proceedings by Whitfield.
The Focht complaint is one of two lawsuits filed against the Iron Order. The other has been filed in Denver by Laura Ramirez Mendoza whose husband, Victor Mendoza, was shot and killed at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo in January 2016 by Iron Order member Derrick Duran.

Sex Offender

The amended suit filed this week states “Timothy Martin was a convicted sex offender at all times material hereto, having served time in a detention center for the statutory rape of an under-aged minor. Timothy Martin’s sex conviction precluded his membership in the Iron Order Motorcycle Club by virtue of the express dictates of the Club’s Bylaws. Timothy Martin fraudulently misrepresented to the IOMC that he had no prior sex crime convictions so that he could gain membership into this Motorcycle Club. Alternatively, Defendant Martin revealed his prior sex crime to the IOMC, which accepted him as a member into the Club, in direct contravention of its Bylaws prohibiting members with sex crimes in their background histories.”
This morning, a very informed source with knowledge of both the Focht case and the Iron Order’s response to it confirmed that Ward, Crouse and Whitfield have known Martin is a convicted sex offender while the club has continued to support him.
“The leaders of the Iron Order knew about this charge since November 2016,” the source said. “The bylaws of the Iron Order are very clear on the matter. No man guilty of any sexual crime is allowed in the club. The appropriate action by the leaders of the Iron Order would have been to immediately throw Tim Martin out of the club and stop paying for his defense. They chose not to do that and chose not to inform their membership of anything regarding either of the lawsuits.”