By Patrece Dayton
TERRE HAUTE (WTHI) - [name withheld], 29, of Terre Haute describes himself as a family man.
He's the proud father of three young children, but [name withheld] says that family was taken away from him in January of last year when police arrested him on rape charges, a crime he says he never committed.
"All I did as bad as it was, all I did was cheat on my girlfriend, and same thing the other girl did. Instead of admitting that to her husband, she comes out with an outlandish story like this, and I get my life ruined for it".
[name withheld] was arrested, his mugshot put on tv.
He was fired from his job, then spent three months in the Vigo County jail.
He says it was a consensual relationship with a woman who eventually lied to police and cried rape.
The Vigo County prosecutor's office and the sheriff's department investigated the case, but found no evidence to support it.
Charges were ultimately dropped.
It's all a memory of freedom that still brings tears.
"I didn't think twice of it. I just grabbed my paperwork and ran. I literally ran. I made it to about 7th and Hulman before she picked me up. I'm still shaking, because it was so scary and awesome at the same time."
"It happens all the time. People twist things in their favor".
Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt says they "have to" depend on the credibility of the victim to protect that victim first and foremost, but he says often with domestic cases stories change, and charges don't hold, and sometimes that takes weeks or even months to prove.
It's a lose-lose situation for police, the victim and ultimately those who are truly victims.
Modesitt explains "it's frustrating to us if someone is lying cause it's a total waste of our time, of the police's time, and then the jury is skeptical because the jury remembers this story so it puts those people in jeopardy in not being able to obtain justice for the crime that was committed against them".
After the charges were dropped, [name withheld] was reunited with his family and given his job back.
He says he's now working hard to make up for the thousands of dollars lost defending himself and for the lost time with his loved ones.
[name withheld] had a felony record at the time of this false accusation.
He thinks it's that old record that may have contributed to his quick arrest.
The prosecutor reminds us that for every one person who's charges are dropped, like this case, there are hundreds of others rightfully found guilty.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
By Katie McCall
GALVESTON (KTRK) - A community in our area is calling for more to be done to keep sex offenders away from areas where children gather.
A group of Galveston residents say little is being done to protect citizens from sex offenders in their neighborhoods, and now they want the city to do something about it.
Karen Nugent has lived in her Galveston home for eight years, but three weeks ago she received a letter that made her want to move.
"If there's a man who describes himself as a serial rapist living in my neighborhood, then I don't feel safe," Nugent said.
A neighbor's homeowners association sent out a notice that a convicted rapist had moved into the area and the address was frighteningly close to hers.
"A friend of mine sent it to me and said, 'Isn't this close to your house?' and I said, 'Yeah it's four doors down,'" Nugent told us.
The news concerned her so much that she reached out to Don Ciaccio, a member of the Galveston Ethics Commission, for help.
"The schools and day cares need to know that they are not very, very close to a registered sex offender in Galveston," said Ciaccio.