Case Results

Dismissal of rape allegation against Atlanta actor

State of Georgia v. Z.J.

The woman who accused our client of rape took the position that because she never uttered the word "yes," she never legally consented to sex.

Our client was a promising young actor and was on a trajectory for a successful career when a false accusation of rape put everything on hold.

The accuser claimed that our client raped her at a birthday gathering. By the time we got involved in the case, arrest warrants had already been obtained.

After securing a bond for our client, we began a very thorough investigation. Since this was a gathering of friends, we were able to get first-hand accounts of the events leading up to the allegation as well as communications between the friends and the accuser.

The group had gone out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and then moved the celebration back to a friend’s house where they continued drinking and hanging out.

Everyone noticed that this woman was quite flirtatious with our client. When things started to wind down, people began to make their way to bed. Two of the friends slept on an air mattress in the living room right beside the L-shaped sofa where our client and the woman were.

They began to make out and eventually had sexual intercourse. Our client asked her several times if she was okay and she nodded affirmatively. According to our client, she then sat up and said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

She then got her pants and went to the bathroom. Our client went to check on her a few minutes later and she said she was fine.

About 45 minutes later, one of the other friends texted her to find out what happened. The friend asked whether she and our client had sex. She responded, “We did have sex. But I never said yes, but I froze and barely said no.”

During our investigation of the woman’s social media posts, it became clear that she was of the belief that unless she verbally consents and utters the word “yes,” she has not consented to sexual intercourse.

Just less than two months after the night with our client, she retweeted the following on her Twitter account:

“Sorry but rape is rape…if there is not a definite consent or verbal yes, it is rape.”

So her contention was that regardless of her sexual advances, her affirmative nods, and her lack of any indication that she did not want to have sex with our client, since she did not say the word “yes,” she was raped.

Over the next several hours, the woman engaged in a group text with the other people at the party and seemed to be attempting to influence them. She told them:

“They do know I was drinking but if a cop does contact you be honest with them but let’s all remember I was not blackout drunk by any means. And lastly I know for a fact I did not give consent.”

The woman’s other social media posts revealed that she was someone who was constantly concerned for her safety. Even prior to the allegations against our client, she would post articles about recent crimes and sexual assaults in the area and say she was worried about something like that happening to her.

So, while she later claimed to the district attorney’s office that she “lost [her] sense of safety and freedom” as a result of the incident, it appeared quite evident that her sense of safety had been lost long before her encounter with our client.

We sent our client for a polygraph examination which confirmed his claim that the sex was completely consensual. We also had a number of character witnesses from the acting community, many of them women, who praised him for being a gentleman and always respectful towards women.

While the charges were pending, our client lost several lucrative acting roles and it appeared that his career was in peril. Fortunately, we were eventually able to convince the district attorney’s office to dismiss the case prior to the case being indicted.

Our client is now able to resume his successful acting career and move on with his life. The arrest will also be expunged from his record.

Categories   |   Rape Cases,

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