Monday, January 9, 2012

Sexual assault charges dropped because evidence contradicts alleged victim's tale

While not a definitive false accusation, it's the rare case when prosecutors drop the charges in a sexual assault/rape case, unless there is fairly conclusive evidence to disprove their case. But I must say, well done to Mark Plants for his actions.

Prosecutors say sexual assault charges against a Charleston man were dropped after evidence and witness accounts contradicted the alleged victim's statement to police.

Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants said Charleston Police detectives dropped charges against Trenton Dane Walker, 34, after "evidence came to light that would prove [Walker's] innocence."

Walker was charged with sexual assault on Dec. 29 after a woman told police Walker forced her to have sex with him by threatening her life while they were at a party, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Charleston Police Sgt. Bobby Eggleton said the woman told police on Dec. 30 that the incident between her and Walker was consensual. Walker was then released from South Central Regional Jail.

"After the arrest, it was brought to light some contradictory evidence that showed there wasn't probable cause that the defendant committed this crime," Plants said. "If there's not probable cause, then charges needed to be dropped immediately at that point."

The investigation is still ongoing and prosecutors are interviewing multiple people who were at the party at the time, Plants said.

He said police would determine if the woman would be charged with filing a false police report.