Sexual assault

DALLAS – 2 men to be exonerated in Dallas sex assault case

april 27 source :

Two men convicted of raping a woman outside a Dallas bar almost 30 years ago will be declared innocent after DNA testing implicated two other men in the attack, authorities said Friday.

James Curtis Williams and Raymond Jackson received life sentences for the November 1983 assault but were recently released on parole.

They will be formally declared innocent in Dallas County court Monday morning. The two other men,Frederick Anderson and Marion Doll Sayles, will be charged with attempted capital murder, authorities said.

Dallas County has now exonerated 32 people since 2001, most during the tenure of District Attorney Craig Watkins. Almost all of those exonerations have involved faulty eyewitness identifications.

Authorities say the woman was forced into a vehicle at gunpoint and later sexually assaulted by two men. She was then shot and left for dead in a field.

Williams and Jackson had been implicated in another sexual assault case and were placed in a photo lineup for this one, said Russell Wilson, the prosecutor in charge of Dallas County’s conviction integrity unit. The victim picked them out of the lineup.

The Associated Press does not name victims of sexual assault.

DNA collected from the woman’s clothing and a rape kit exam was preserved and later tested. Tests linked the DNA to Anderson and Sayles.

After they were convicted, Williams and Jackson pleaded guilty in the other sexual assault case and received shorter sentences that have since expired, authorities said. The men didn’t challenge their convictions in that case and will still have to register as sex offenders because of that crime, said Julie Doucet, an attorney in the Dallas County public defender’s office.

“They’re extremely happy to finally be cleared of this crime,” she said.

Williams, now 54, will no longer be on parole after Monday. Jackson, 67, will for a robbery committed in 1970, Doucet said.

The charges to be brought against Anderson, 52, and Sayles, 55, are rare. Despite the high number of exonerations in Dallas County, only three people have been prosecuted in cases where someone was wrongfully convicted, said Jamille Bradfield, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney.

In this case, prosecutors are charging Anderson and Sayles with attempted capital murder because that crime doesn’t carry a statute of limitations, Wilson said.

Anderson is being held in the Dallas County jail, and a bench warrant has been issued for Sayles, Wilson said. Neither man had an attorney listed in online jail records.

California – Judge rejects Raymond man’s request for new trial

march, 31 source

BRENTWOOD — A judge rejected a Raymond man’s argument for a new trial, which was based on claims he was wrongfully convicted of raping a 41-year-old woman in 2009.

Raymond Payette, 55, a former Raymond public works employee, claimed he received ineffective assistance from his defense lawyer and that prosecutors engaged in misconduct.

He alleged prosecutors should have never allowed the victim to testify about DNA found on her underwear.

Chief Justice Tina Nadeau heard testimony from Payette’s former lawyer at a hearing in February before reaching her decision on March 22.

Payette is serving 7 to 15 years in state prison after being convicted by a jury of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Defense lawyer Tom Gleason argued that Payette’s former attorney, Gerard LaFlamme, should have objected to testimony about DNA samples found on the woman’s underwear. The DNA did not match Payette, according to Gleason.

LaFlamme testified he made a tactical decision to not object to the woman’s testimony about the DNA as a means to question her veracity.

Nadeau agreed LaFlamme’s decision was a sound tactic to use at trial.

“Even objectionable testimony can help a defendant’s case,” Nadeau wrote in a five-page order.

During the trial, Payette even argued the sex he had with the woman was consensual, lessening the importance of the testimony, Nadeau noted.

Nadeau also rejected the contention that Payette was barred from testifying in his own defense. LaFlamme testified in February that after analyzing the evidence against his client before and toward the end the trial, he advised against Payette taking the stand, Nadeau wrote. LaFlamme was concerned that Payette was not hold up under questioning by prosecutors.

But the decision whether to testify was ultimately left up to Payette, Nadeau wrote.

The sexual assault happened on the night of July 16, 2009. Payette made his way into the woman’s home by asking to wash his hands after petting horses that were behind her home, prosecutors said.

Payette was recently completed a 1-to-2 year prison sentence on a witness tampering conviction related to the sexual assault case. He will be eligible for parole in July 2016 on the sexual assault sentence.