Saturday, July 5, 2008

More details on the expectant San Luis Obispo father cleared of rape charges

We previously reported on the expectant San Luis Obispo father cleared of rape charges. More details have emerged. The innocent man's rape trial was scheduled to start this coming Tuesday but the charges were dropped this week after the Department of Justice provided the physical examination report that analyzed the DNA and other fluids found on the alleged victim’s underwear as well as the underwear’s condition. According to the innocent man's attorney, the report revealed that the semen found on the underwear excluded the man, adding the other fluid found on the garment also excluded him. The alleged victim, the attorney said, had told authorities that she and the man had been fighting over the underwear, but the DOJ report showed there was no indications of forced removal nor were any tears or other abrasions observed.

Despite the accuser's apparent lies, she is shrouded in anonymity while the innocent man's name was splashed all over the news, his reputation and his dignity badly damaged. And thus far the woman is facing no consequences for her apparently fraudulent accusation.

The strain of the charges forced the innocent man's wife to make a choice -- to have faith in the man she married or to disbelieve him. Thankfully she chose the former.

The innocent man and his wife echoed a theme common in all of these cases: they felt as though the man was presumed guilty from the outset.

Finally, what took the DOJ so long to get the DNA report back? This was akin to a Hollywood thriller where surprise evidence saves an innocent man at the last minute. As a matter of course, the DNA report should be completed immediately following a rape charge, without delay and without bureaucratic excuses of backlog or underfunding, in a case where a man's liberty, his reputation and his dignity are at stake.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:

DA dismisses rape charges against local landscaper

Posted: Thursday, Jul 3rd, 2008
BY: Ellen Holland -- July 4, 2008

At the close of a press conference held at his attorney’s office Tuesday, Richard Armet said the Fourth of July has new meaning for him — Freedom.

That same day the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office filed a dismissal of all charges against him, with the prosecution giving only one reason, “in the interest of justice,” said Armet’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu.

Armet, the owner of Atascadero-based Armet’s Landscape Inc., had been charged with three counts, alleged forcible rape, alleged sexual penetration with a foreign object — a finger — and alleged oral copulation, stemming from an alleged encounter on Oct. 28, 2007.

“This has been extremely hard for my wife and our family,” Armet said while holding hands with both his mother, Ellen, and wife, Janel.

“I wasn’t found innocent or guilty in a court. I was wrongly accused and it was dismissed.”

Funke-Bilu said his client’s initial trial date was set for July 1, but had been pushed back to Tuesday, July 8.

On June 27 the Department of Justice provided the physical examination report that analyzed the DNA and other fluids found on the alleged victim’s underwear as well as the underwear’s condition.

Funke-Bilu said the report revealed that the semen found on the underwear excluded Armet, adding the other fluid found on the garment also excluded his client.

The alleged victim, Funke-Bilu said, had told authorities that she and Armet had been fighting over the underwear, but the DOJ report showed there was no indications of forced removal nor were any tears or other abrasions observed.

Armet, 30, said he had been friends with the alleged victim and her boyfriend and was just trying to do the right thing by allowing her to stay at his home rather than walk or drive home drunk.

The 31-year-old woman in question, he said, has made a similar accusation against others.

“I just wish the best for her,” he said, adding that he hopes she realizes what the allegations have done to him, his family and his company.

“I know what has and hasn’t happened and what was the truth and what wasn’t. My story has been the same from day one.”

When Armet was asked if he intended to pursue legal action against his accuser, Funke-Bilu said his clients’ main focus is his wife’s pregnancy.

“My heart from the beginning knew this wasn’t true,” Janel said. “We’ve been through a lot, but we’re looking ahead to the positive future.”

Janel said the whole incident “almost felt like it was guilty until proven innocent,” and Armet agreed stating that when the allegations arose he was looked at as if he was already guilty.

The incident, he said, has brought him closer to his wife and his family.“In an odd way it’s almost been a blessing,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot, it’s taught us a lot.”

Link: http://www.atascaderonews.com/V2_news_articles.php?heading=0&story_id=858&page=72