We were retained to represent a Gwinnett County teacher who was falsely accused of sodomizing a 5-year-old boy. The allegations against the client were heinous and there appeared to be physical evidence supporting the charges. The mother of the boy was a fellow teacher who had attempted to form a romantic relationship with our client. A couple weeks before the allegation, she learned that the client was dating another fellow teacher. On the day in question, she asked our client to babysit the child for a couple hours to which he agreed. That evening, she claimed that the child stated that he was sodomized by our client and she took him to the hospital where an examination was conducted. The examination revealed what appeared to be an injury consistent with anal sodomy. Our client was subsequently arrested.
Our client adamantly proclaimed that he was innocent and suspected that the crime was fabricated by the child’s jealous mother. What could not be explained was the apparent injury noted in the medical examination.
We spent several months interviewing friends and acquaintances of the mother until we finally found a woman who actually babysat for the child on the morning of the alleged incident. She told us that the mother stated that the child was suffering from diarrhea and could not go to school that day. The mother, however, never reported this fact to the police or to the medical staff at the hospital.
The case was indicted in Gwinnett County Superior Court and our client was charged with Aggravated Child Molestation and Aggravated Sodomy. He was facing up to 50 years in prison. We filed a motion for a pretrial deposition of the child’s pediatrician. This is a procedure in Georgia that is unique to child sex offense cases where an alleged injury is reported. During the deposition, it was revealed that the child had been seen by the doctor just two days earlier for a GI disorder where it was reported that he was having constant diarrhea.
We then retained a leading medical expert who was the head of Pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine. After a review of the medical records and the deposition transcript, she concluded that the injury discovered during the medical examination was likely caused by diarrhea. After presenting her findings to the DA’s office, the prosecution eventually sided with her medical conclusions over those of the State’s experts.
We had interviewed ten other teachers who all stated that the child’s mother showed extreme jealousy and disdain towards our client. It was even reported by one of them that she stated that she “was going to get him.”
After two years of work, we were able to convince the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office to dismiss the charges against our client. He is now happily married with children and has been able to move on with his life.