Judge Orders Retrial of Man Convicted of Raping Woman With Down Syndrome
William Jeffrey Dumas was convicted of repeatedly raping a 24-year-old woman with Down syndrome on October 18, 2010.
Judge Christopher McFadden, who is an appeals judge but was temporarily presiding as a Superior Court judge in Fayette County, Ala., sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
Now, McFadden has issued the ruling on a request for a new trial for Dumas.
In the ruling, McFadden stated that the woman first complained of the attack one day after the alleged rape occurred. He noted that neither the victim nor the perpetrator seemed to act as one would expect each to act, writing that Dumas did not “behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes.”
To strengthen his case that the convictions “do not have the approval of the court’s mind and conscience,” he also cited discrepancies in other witnesses’ testimonies.
Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard prosecuted the case. When presented with news of the retrial, Ballard’s reaction was one of “disgust.”
Ballard said that he had to inform the “Down syndrome woman who was the victim of the rape” that “even though a jury had convicted her assailant of the crime, the judge was giving the guy a new trial.”
He noted that the woman’s parents were “outraged.”
The District Attorney’s Office has filed a motion requesting that McFadden remove himself from the case. In the motion, they noted that, as established in the trial testimony, Dumas’ semen was found on the bed in which the woman was sleeping on the night of the alleged attack.
Furthermore, the DA’s office has stated that the doctor had examined the woman and had confirmed that her condition was consistent with the claim that she had been forcibly raped.
On Wednesday, McFadden issued a statement saying that judicial ethics prevent him from making any further public comments on the pending case.
“I cannot go beyond my written orders,” McFadden said. “The code of Judicial Conduct prohibits me from commenting further.”
McFadden denied the prosecution’s motion on Feb. 5, and will remain on the case.
Ballard is now appealing this decision to the same appeals court on which McFadden sits.
Of the upcoming case, Ballard said, “I just hope we can get some justice.”
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