Rape Charge Case Takes Nearly Two Decades for Not Guilty Verdict by Jury

Ordinary Socks May Have Played Role

By Crescenzo Vellucci

A not guilty jury verdict the day after Christmas in Yolo County Superior Court here may have come down in large part to a question of ordinary socks – but in any case, it brought to an end a criminal prosecution that lasted nearly two decades.

Javier Reyes, charged with rape in 2000, was found not guilty of the charge Dec. 26, 2018, by a jury that apparently found the testimony of the alleged victim to be inconsistent, and not believable.

Maybe because of socks.

Reyes was accused with raping a 19-year-old woman while he lived with a large “extended” family in Davis in 2000 in a three-story apartment. The alleged victim apparently had a miscarriage, and her father confronted Reyes, who lived in the same apartment, and accused him of rape.

Reyes reportedly denied it and challenged the father to “call the police if you think I have abused your daughter.” Reyes then moved to Mexico in the beginning of July 2000, and Davis Police started their investigation in August, nearly a month later.

And, now begins the mystery of the socks.

The alleged victim claimed she was raped by Reyes, who, she said, tied her hands with her socks. She said it was the only incident (Reyes later said he had a consensual relationship with her). She said he raped her while her sister slept in the same bed, and she could not fight him off.

However, another sister of the complainant told Davis Det. Sharon Irwin that on the night of the rape she called her sister – the one who said she was raped – and told her to have Reyes pick her up from work, which he did. And that was the night of the alleged rape.

The mother of the alleged victim also contradicted the statements made earlier by the alleged victim, saying she was told that no socks were involved.

“Det. Irwin did not record any of the statements. She also did not take one picture of the apartment. No pictures of the socks. On the stand Det. Irwin said she didn’t take a picture of the socks because it would have ‘no evidentiary value’ because they had been washed. When I pointed out to Det. Irwin that the length of the socks would have had evidentiary value she agreed,” said Matt Martinez, a Sacramento attorney who also practices in Yolo and Placer counties. Martinez said that, on the stand, the alleged victim and Reyes all indicated that the socks worn by complaining witness were ankle socks. 

At preliminary hearing, added Martinez, the alleged victim said both her sisters were in bed with her but changed her testimony later (Reyes picked up one sister at work). She also said that Reyes raped her “every other day.”

But at trial she changed back to being tied up with socks, she said her younger sister was asleep in the bed with her and the other sister was at work. She also said (for the very first time) that she was scared that Javier would rape her sisters because he threatened to rape them while he raped her,” related Martinez.

On the stand, according to Martinez’ recollection, the sister of the alleged victim said Reyes and the victim interacted often and even “fought” over the characters in a telenovela they watched. However, this was denied by the alleged victim on the stand. The sister also said the alleged victim “had problems” with drugs and alcohol. But this was also denied by the complainant.

“The complaining witness story wasn’t corroborated by any of the prosecution witnesses, and on the stand she came up with brand new allegations. She clearly lied about a number of aspects of the case. This should have dismissed after the preliminary. But, despite all the problems with the complaining witness testimony, the DA proceeded with a case it could not win, in my opinion,” said Martinez.

The trial included parts of two days to pick a jury, parts of three days of testimony – the jury came back with a not guilty decision after only deliberating part of a day on Friday, and an hour the day after Christmas.

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1 Comment

  1. Craig Ross

    It is unfortunate that this case will not get enough attention, but I’m struck by them trying this case at this point and then the quick acquittal. Hopefully this can be revisited at some point.

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