Below is a link to an online petition a crime victim has posted. The young man was attacked viciously by two women who were trying to keep his vehicle from him. The petition page has two photographs of some of the damage the attackers did to the young man.
The Commonwealth first charged the young man (the victim) with assault, because the women made it to the magistrate before he did and convinced the magistrate to issue a warrant. The charges against the young man were dismissed at trial on a motion to strike, which means there was not even enough evidence to make out a prima facie case. The Commonwealth really had no case at all against this young man.
The young man then went to the magistrate, who issued warrants for the arrest of the two women for assault and battery. The Commonwealth approached me privately and said that they would not prosecute, because they believed the young man was guilty. I reminded the prosecutor that the judge had already found that the young man was not guilty, and that there was not even enough evidence to make out a prima facie case against him. The prosecutor said that she disagreed with the judge, and would not prosecute the women, because she disagreed with the judge.
On the day scheduled for trial in the Fauquier General District Court, the Commonwealth made a motion to nolle prosequi the case. As you know, this means that the Commonwealth wanted to dismiss the case. I stood up and objected to this, and moved the court to allow me to intervene in the case on behalf of the victim in order to argue to the court that the case should not be dismissed. Under Virginia law, the Commonwealth has to show “good cause” to dismiss the case this way, but most judges consider the agreement of the defendant to be good enough. The judge denied my motion to intervene, and dismissed the case against the two women.
I then filed a written motion to intervene and an objection to the dismissal of the charges against the attackers. My motion is being heard on Thursday, May 23 at 8:30 a.m. in the General District Court of Fauquier County.
The problem we’re presented with is that the Commonwealth does not want to prosecute these two attackers, solely because the Commonwealth does not like the victim of the assault. They tried to convict him and couldn’t, so they are refusing to prosecute the actual criminals. The victim was even awarded damages from these two women in a civil trial, but the Commonwealth is willing to ignore that fact. The Commonwealth’s conduct is an abuse of its duty to protect the public and to prosecute criminals for the crimes they commit.
It would help if we could get some public support in this case. The goal is straightforward – persuade the Commonwealth to prosecute these two criminals, and persuade the judge that it would be manifestly against the public interest to allow the Commonwealth to dismiss this case. We welcome as many signatures on the petition as possible. We also invite anyone who can be in court on May 23 to attend the hearing.