Criminal Justice

Judge orders new trial for man convicted of rape, says complainant didn't behave like a victim


A Georgia appeals judge has ordered a new trial for a convicted rapist, saying the woman who complained of the attack didn’t behave like a victim when she made the report the next day.

Judge Christopher McFadden said the guilty verdicts against William Jeffrey Dumas “do not have the approval of the court’s mind and conscience,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. McFadden is an appeals judge, but he temporarily presided at the trial. The alleged victim has Down syndrome.

In his ruling, McFadden cited the behavior of the complainant as well as that of Dumas, who “did not behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes.” The judge also cited inconsistencies in testimony.

Prosecutors sought McFadden’s recusal after the decision, the story says. The recusal motion cited evidence that included semen found on the bed and a doctor’s findings that were consistent with forcible rape. McFadden refused to recuse himself, and prosecutors are appealing to McFadden’s appeals court.

The story says McFadden has come under fire since the decision. Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told the Journal-Constitution on Wednesday he was disgusted when he learned of the decision. “I just hope we can get some justice,” he said.

McFadden released a statement saying ethics rules prevent him from commenting.

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