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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George Zimmerman, who was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin last year, claimed during an interview on CNN today that he was somehow a "scapegoat" for President Obama.
At one point in the interview, CNN's Chris Cuomo referred to Martin as the victim, but Zimmerman said he was the "victim," noted TalkingPointsMemo.com (video below).
"No, I certainly was a victim when I was having my head bashed into the concrete and my nose broken and beaten, I wouldn’t say I was not a victim," stated Zimmerman.
The admitted gunman, who claims he acted in self-defense, went on to say that he was a scapegoat for "the government, the President, the attorney general."
"And they would be scapegoating you, why?" asked Cuomo. "Just to show that they're taking a position on something that matters to a lot of people?"
"I don’t like others speaking for me, so I try to give other people the benefit and not speak for them," said Zimmerman. "I don’t know what they’re thinking or why they’re thinking it, all I know is that is that they’re doing it. I don’t know what agenda they have."
In a separate interview with Univision on Sunday night, Zimmerman said that he was homeless, broke and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, notes CBS Miami.
However, he gets money from his family.
Zimmerman claimed that he owes $2.5 million to his attorneys, but has raised more than $300,000 via donations to his website and is suing NBC News for airing an edited version of his 9-1-1 call from the Martin shooting.
After a harrowing attack involving a blowtorch, one woman thought fast and was able to get away by plunging a screwdriver into the eye of her attacker.
Reports say that the woman was casually walking down the street when a man came up behind her, put a gun to the back of her head, and forced her into a small beige car.
“Once inside the vehicle, he struck her several times in the face,” said Detroit police officer Adam Madera. “And then he began ripping her clothes off.”
While assaulting her, the man grabbed a blowtorch and began to burn the victim’s legs. Quickly, the woman grabbed a nearby screwdriver, stabbed her attacker in the eye, and ran out of the car naked to a nearby house for assistance.
Police immediately responded to the scene, and the anonymous victim was taken to the hospital to be treated for major burns on her legs. Police are actively searching for the suspect, who they say is around 23-years-old.
According to WXYZ, "Detroit Police believe the attacker is the same man who sexually assaulted two other women in July and used a blow torch to burn them."
After being taken at knifepoint and brutally raped, a 25-year-old Indian woman, with help from her mother and brothers, invited her 38-year-old rapist to her home, doused him in kerosene, and lit him on fire.
According to The Indian Express, the rapist, identified as Raju Vishvakarma, died at the hospital the following day.
Months before being burned alive, the man had already been arrested for the rape but was released on bail not long after.
Before dying, as noted by Buzfeed, Vishvakarma told authorities that the woman had called him to her family’s home to discuss an out-of-court settlement for the rape case. The man said they demanded a large sum of money to settle the case, but he told them he couldn’t afford that much. So, the rape victim and her family proceeded to light him on fire.
"We have just received the information of his death,” police superintendent Rajesh Hingankar told the Times of India. “We have booked the rape victim and her family members on charges of murder going by Raju's statement.”
A 26-year-old woman got revenge on her rapist after discovering she was pregnant with his child by shooting him, stabbing him and then cutting off his head.
The Turkish woman, identified as Nevin Yildirim, was reportedly five months pregnant with the murdered man’s child and claimed that he had abused her for months prior to the killing.
When police came to arrest Yildirim, according to the Daily Mail, they found her right near the severed head. She pointed to it and said, “That is the head of one who toyed with my honor.”
The woman told the Hurriyet Daily News she was not worried about the consequences of what she did because she believes she did what had to be done.
The rapist apparently took naked pictures of her and threatened to send them to her parents unless she willingly had sex with him.
“He kept saying that he would tell everyone about the rape,” said Yildirim at the time of the incident, as noted by Samuel-Warde.com.
“My daughter will start school this year. Everyone would have insulted my children. Now no one can. I saved my honor. They will now call children the kids of the women who saved her honor.”
Disturbing surveillance video shows the body of 24-year-old Jheryl Wright lying in the doorway of a convenience store in Kalamazoo, Michigan while customers walked by unaffected.
Wright had been gunned down at the entrance of the convenience store just minutes before what’s shown in the video, and according to reports, the store clerks didn’t even check to see if he was alive or dead. People came in and out of the store, stepped over him, and acted as if there wasn’t a dead body in front of them.
"He was a father figure, provided for his family," said Wright’s uncle Barry. "He wasn't a troublemaker. He wasn't some street-type thug. I can't say a bad thing about him."
During Wright’s trial, prosecutors released the surveillance video to help convict the shooting suspect. Wright’s mother Jackel says she is disturbed after watching the video of people ignoring her son.
"When they told me people were still coming in that gas station, stepping over my child in the doorway, I couldn't believe it; I couldn't believe it," said Jackel. "I just can't believe people in this world would do something like that. I can't. How can you step over someone lying in the doorway and not help; how would they feel if that was one of their loved ones sitting there? I hope God have mercy on your soul because you was wrong, sitting there and not helping my son, like he was just a doormat; walking over him, laying there dead. I hope y'all can't sleep at night because that was awful. Just plain awful."
Eventually, as it shows in the video, a man stops and calls the police to report it. Watch the disturbing surveillance video below.
St. Louis woman Ashley Depew was forced to have reconstructive facial surgery after becoming yet another victim of the “knockout” game.
Depew was picking up a friend outside of The Trophy Room when she was attacked and punched in the face. Her case went viral when she posted a picture of her injured eye to Facebook.
Brigette Ulmer-Loynd, Depew’s dance teacher, posted a warning to Facebook asking that no one fall victim to the game.
“These groups of teenagers will punch out anybody, then scatter to run,” Ulmer-Loynd wrote. “Please don’t be a victim and always be aware of your surroundings!”
The knockout game has been a problem in St. Louis since 2011, and his since become an epidemic across the nation. Just last week St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay arrived at a bloody knockout scene, where one teenager revealed he had participated in 300 knockout games.
Last week, Bill O’Reilly suggested that the attacks may be racially motivated, noting that the majority of them are carried out by young black men.
“They’re sold a bill of goods by the civil rights people that white society is the fault,” O’Reilly said. “Because you’re unhappy, it’s the whites doing it to you and so they’re whacking whites!”
A carjacker in North Hollywood, Calif. got outsmarted by his victim when the driver took him straight to the nearest police station.
It all started when the suspect approached a driver, claimed to have a gun, and forced the man to drive. The victim was quick thinking, however, and decided to take a big risk.
“The victim, driving the suspect, drove by the North Hollywood police station, he pulled into our parking lot and flagged down a few officers that were outside,” said Lt. Mike Rimkunas. “Anytime you have anyone jump into your car, and simulate some sort of weapon, and tell you to drive, it’s probably a little nerve-racking, but he was able to maintain his composure and knew where to go to get immediate help, and he did so.”
When the carjacking and kidnapping suspect realized that the driver had taken him to a police station, he panicked and fled on foot. Police eventually apprehended him a few blocks away from the station, but did not find a weapon on him.
CBS 2 News Los Angeles happened to be at the scene when the suspect was apprehended and caught the arrest on camera. Watch video of the arrest here.
An unidentified 13-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy were both sex offenders and victims because they had consensual sex in 2003.
They reportedly violated a Utah state law that criminalizes sex with someone under 14 years old.
State authorities claim the boyfriend and girlfriend each committed sexual abuse of a child.
The girl, who became pregnant from the encounter, is now 23 years old and appealed her conviction to the Utah Supreme Court.
She claims that consensual sex shouldn’t qualify as a crime because it doesn’t apply for 16-year-olds or 17-year-olds who have sex with someone in their own age group. For obvious resaons, she believes younger people should be treated equally.
“The only thing that comes close to this is dueling,” said Associate Chief Justice Michael Wilkins, referring to two people who shoot each other.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Chief Justice Christine Durham labeled the convictions a “peculiar consequence.”
A juvenile court judge originally denied the girl’s appeal and the Utah Court of Appeals upheld the judge, claiming the law had to protect minors from each other.
The girl then appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.
“A child [victim] cannot also be a perpetrator in the exact same act,” said Randall Richards, the girl’s attorney, in court.
Sources: Salt Lake Tribune, Daily Mail
A 7th grade homework assignment caused outrage after parents discovered students were assigned to write a letter from the point of view of someone in the twin towers or on a plane during 9/11.
Kate Gurka, whose daughter is a 7th grader at Fairview Junior High in Texas, said she spotted a disturbing letter in her daughter’s folder the day before 9/11 which read much like a suicide note.
Gurka’s daughter then explained the assignment -- write a letter from the perspective of someone on a place or in the towers.
“I just thought it was absolutely ridiculous,” Gurka said.
Gurka said that she doesn’t want the teacher to loose her job, but that the teacher should “lower her thoughts”.
The Alvin Independent School District released a statement apologizing to parents, noting that educators strive to meet emotional and instructional needs of each individual student while maintaining sensitivity.
In an effort to measure the indecency of the assignment, Fox polled its viewers, with some in opposition and some in support.
Shadia Khanter wrote that the assignment was insensitive and inappropriate for 7th graders.
Angelique Berry, however, wrote that she wouldn’t mind her children doing the assignment, noting that it creates empathy and forces reflection on an important topic.