No second run with rape trial
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The Pitkin County District Attorney’s Office will not pursue a retrial in the case of rape suspect Ramon Dominguez-Jimenez.
The decision, made less than two weeks after Dominguez-Jimenez’ original trial ended in a hung jury, was announced on Monday during a hearing in Pitkin County District Court.
“The people are prepared and have a motion to dismiss,” Deputy District Attorney Katie Sullivan said at the start of the day’s hearing.
“Of course, the defense has no objection to that, your honor,” answered Arnold Mordkin, Dominguez-Jimenez’ attorney.
District Court Judge Jim Boyd approved the motion to dismiss shortly after noon Monday. Dominguez-Jimenez, released on a $12,500 bond last week, was free to leave the courtroom.
Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills, the lead prosecutor in the case, was out of town Monday and unable to attend court. Instead, Wills commented on the decision to dismiss charges through a press release.
The press release reports that the decision was left in the hands of the alleged victim, a 58-year-old former co-worker of Dominguez-Jimenez. The woman, who has left the Aspen area since the alleged incident, decided against a retrial due to the strain her first court appearance put on her family.
“The decision to not pursue the case is based primarily upon the request of the victim,” the press release states. “This office feels the victim displayed uncommon courage in her original participation in the case, and continues to receive our support and encouragement in facing the prospect of a second trial. However, given the emotional and financial impacts to her and her family, it is her wish to not proceed.”
The release also states that Dominguez-Jimenez will be turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for a review of his citizenship status. However, Mordkin said his client was indeed a legal immigrant from Honduras, and the INS “hold” on Dominguez-Jimenez had already been lifted.
Dominguez-Jimenez, 38, was arrested last March after a female co-worker reported to police that she had been raped after receiving a ride home from work. The woman was examined at Aspen Valley Hospital, where physicians found a large vaginal laceration ? a wound three different doctors, testifying for the prosecution during Dominguez-Jimenez’ trial, determined could have been fatal.
Dominguez-Jimenez, however, testified during his trial that he and the alleged victim, a married woman, had been carrying on an extramarital affair for over a month, and had consensual sex the night of the alleged attack. Dominguez-Jimenez’ attorney maintained that the victim, a native of the Philippines, claimed she had been sexually assaulted because of the “stigma” of adultery in her homeland.
Mordkin also questioned the woman’s claim that she had simply asked Dominguez-Jimenez for a ride home from work on the day of the reported attack. Mordkin introduced time sheets into evidence, which he said proved that the alleged victim wasn’t scheduled to work that day.
After two days of deliberations, the jury in the case voted 10-2 in favor of acquittal ? a hung jury that left the case open for dismissal or retrial.
[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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