A woman is speaking out after a man she says raped her nearly four decades ago walked free Monday following the judge’s shocking dismissal of the case in a Fairfax County courtroom after the prosecution failed to submit evidence on time.
In separate conversations with local outlets NBC4 and FOX5, the woman, whose identity was kept anonymous, says she was raped by her neighbor in the Springfield area when she was just 11 years old. The neighbor was in his mid-20s at the time. Two years ago, the ordeal boiled over and she contacted authorities.
“A family friend if you will — groomed me, coerced me, lured me, manipulated me and my parents,” she tells FOX5. “He’s a sick predator.”
A police-recorded phone call with the man, who the report says is now a youth counselor for runaways, followed after she came forward.
“He apologized. I asked him, ‘Why did you do that to me?'” she tells NBC4. “He said, ‘Because you were a cool kid.'”
But instead of getting the opportunity to share her experience, the woman watched stunned as her alleged rapist walk out of the courtroom a free man.
The judge reportedly reprimanded the prosecutor for missing a submission deadline in November to turn over relevant evidence that had been in the attorney’s possession since August 2020, an omission categorized as “prosecutorial error.”
“We had a ton of evidence. A ton of evidence,” the woman tells FOX5. “The control calls. My testimony. Everything that I said. The nine-page police report. … I’m disgusted. Disgusted. Disgusted. … It’s traumatizing. It’s exhausting. It’s draining.”
In a statement, the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said involved parties “were surprised and disappointed to see the judge’s ruling this morning to dismiss this case — which ran directly counter to a ruling received on this same matter on Friday from a different judge.”
“Based on Friday’s ruling, the victim was present in court today and prepared to testify, and the team was prepared to go to trial,” Descano’s office added. “While we’re disappointed that the victim was denied the opportunity to be heard in court today, the office is continuing to evaluate all options on this case.”
The woman said she is presently exploring alternative options.
For more stories like this, subscribe to our News newsletter.