Innocent Honors Student Cleared of Rape Charges
Being accused of a crime does not make you guilty, no matter how sincere the victim appears. This could not be better highlighted than in this story of a young man cleared of rape charges in 2021.
The Alleged Event
Shortly after Halloween in 2020, a young man was charged with raping his cousin on Halloween eve. Her allegations were horrendous; she claims that he pulled her downstairs by her hair, threw her on a sofa, held her down, covered her mouth with his hand and raped her, all while her grandparents were upstairs.
Upon his arrest, the young man (who was an honors student and an athlete with a full college scholarship) found himself locked in a prison cell, held without bond.
Mr. Kadish conducted a bond review with the young man and was able to obtain home detention for him while he awaited trial; at least he was able to finish his senior year of high school online.
However, the criminal allegations continued. The alleged victim made additional claims that the Defendant had been raping her regularly since she was 13 years old. Her new allegations resulted in a second case against this young man in Baltimore County juvenile court.
Since juvenile cases move at an accelerated pace, the juvenile matter was quickly set for a hearing. This young scholar/athlete with everything to look forward to faced the prospect of his life being ruined over multiple crimes, none of which he committed.
Craig M. Kadish & Associates, LLC utilized its own investigator who conducted a detailed inquiry into both the juvenile and the adult allegations. In fact, the defense’s investigator conducted more interviews (and more detailed interviews) of witnesses than the police did. The results of the defense’s investigation and the analysis by expert witnesses were shocking: the Defendant was entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.
The defense’s challenges to the State’s case began in the juvenile matter. Noticing that the State’s filing appeared to have a technical flaw, the Defense Attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the entire juvenile matter as a result of the State missing a filing deadline by one (1) day. Specifically, Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings §3-8A-13(b), require that the Office of the States Attorney file a petition alleging delinquency within 30 days after the receipt of a referral from the intake officer. In this case, the 30th day fell on a Friday, but the Delinquency Petition was not filed until the following Monday, 33 days after the Department of Juvenile Services had made its referral to the State’s Attorney.
The Court stated at the hearing on the Defense’s Motion to Dismiss the State’s juvenile rape case that it “had no choice but to grant the Defense’s Motion to Dismiss”; all of the rape charges brought against the Defendant as a juvenile were dismissed. Once dismissed, juvenile charges such as these can never be refiled.
The Remaining Cases
However, the Defendant still had an adult rape and sex offense case that was keeping him locked down on home detention. Like most defendants, this young man was frustrated with the entire process. Despite being innocent, his freedom and his future were in jeopardy. We explained to him that we understood his anxiety and impatience, but serious criminal matters are marathons, not sprints, and he needed to trust his lawyers.
Enormous amounts of law firm resources were called upon to defend this innocent young man. Mr. Kadish and his veteran paralegal Amy Cagle along with defense attorney (and former Baltimore County Police officer) Sarah Bordner literally left nothing to chance, gathering years of text messages between the alleged victim and other family members, obtaining aerial photographs of the neighborhood (which we had printed on large posters) getting video surveillance from a local Chinese restaurant where the victim and the Defendant had been the evening of the alleged rape, and of course obtaining volumes of witness interviews from each person whom the parties had contact with that evening.
A Marathon, Not a Sprint
The process was slow and took nearly a year. However, only days from the start of the trial, the State was left with little choice but to acknowledge that it had little chance of winning a conviction in the face of the overwhelming information acquired by the Defense of the past months.
Over the “victim’s” objections, the entirety of the rape case, including all associated sex offense charges, was dismissed by the prosecution. At the dismissal hearing, the prosecutor advised the judge that “Mr. Kadish has provided me with a substantial amount of information over the past months which has persuaded the State not to proceed against the Defendant.”
While this innocent young man charged with rape cannot get the last year of his life back, he has been cleared of all charges and is starting college in the fall of 2021 with a bright future and a past free of any convictions. His patience paid off, proving the adage that “serious criminal cases are marathons, not sprints”.