Monday, February 22, 2010

Rape case dropped against San Rafael man

Comments will be interspersed.

Man released after charges dropped

The district attorney's office has dismissed charges against a San Rafael man accused of raping a woman at Marin General Hospital.

Roy Anthony Herndon, 56, was released from jail last week after prosecutors dropped the case. His bail had been set at $500,000.

FRS Comment: So, once again, we see an arrest, and time spent in jail, BEFORE an investigation into the details was conducted.

The dismissal was prompted by doubts about the accuser's credibility, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Mitchell. The case is no longer under investigation, Mitchell said.

Herndon had been charged with rape by a foreign object, assault with intent to commit rape, sexual battery by restraint and false imprisonment by violence.

"The evidence simply undermined her claims," said Herndon's lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Peter Arian. "This situation is a reminder that the government's allegations need to be scrutinized in every case."

FRS Comment: Again, if the evidence undermined her claim, why was he arrested in the first place? If one thing needs to be fixed, it is that the investigation must happen first, and the arrest should follow only if the charge is supported by evidence.

The woman reported her claims on Jan. 8, some five hours after the alleged incident occurred. The woman said she struck up a conversation with a man while waiting for a bus to Marin General Hospital, and he joined her on her trip, the sheriff's department said.

FRS Comment: The woman is not named, despite the fact that the evidence undermined her allegations. The man's name is splashed all over the story.

The woman told investigators that the man assaulted her after they had cigarettes together in a patio area at the hospital.

Based on the information provided by the accuser, sheriff's investigators identified Herndon as the suspect and arrested him early the next morning.

The public defender's office found evidence the accuser had been drinking excessively for days prior to the rape claim.

Thank to one of our readers for the tip.