Fairfax County

Survivor Speaks Out After Fairfax County Rape Case Dismissed Over ‘Prosecutorial Error'

Instead of seeing the person accused of raping her when she was 11 years old face justice, the victim watched him leave the courtroom a free man.

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A woman sitting in a Fairfax County courtroom Monday morning was ready after decades to finally confront the man she says raped her as a child. Instead, she watched in horror as a judge abruptly dismissed the case over what was characterized as “prosecutorial error.” 

The survivor, whose name News4 has decided to withhold, spoke about her disappointment and her hopes that somehow, some way, justice will prevail in her case. 

Monday was supposed to be for the confident, athletic 11-year-old whose light was dimmed by terrible things nearly four decades ago. Two years ago, now a mother herself, she found the strength to contact police, and with their help, recorded a call with the man she accuses of raping her.

He was a neighbor in his mid-20s at the time of the alleged crimes. 

“He apologized. I asked him, ‘Why did you do that to me?’ He said, ‘Because you were a cool kid,’” she said.

She said her motivation was not only for herself.

“I saw that he was a youth counselor for runaways,” she said.

This morning, in a Fairfax County courtroom, she was ready to tell her story - the one few people knew about the pain she had carried like a giant boulder for so many years. 

But, instead of seeing the person arrested for hurting her finally face justice, she watched him leave a free man.

The woman said the judge dismissed the case, and chastised the prosecutor for missing a November deadline to turn over discovery, the term for evidence planned to use.  

“She didn’t submit the discovery that everybody has had since August 2020,” the woman said. 

In a statement, the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said:“We 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. 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.”

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