By Alexander Pleitez
WOODLAND, CA – An alleged victim of domestic abuse asked that the court dismiss charges against the defendant, and admitted she had composed a false statement and “over exaggerated” about the claimed mistreatment by defendant Carmello Gaston Tuesday here in Yolo County Superior Court.
Gaston, who pleaded not guilty, faced infliction of injury on a spouse and battery against a spouse, and was represented by Deputy Public Defender Aram Davtyan. The Deputy District Attorney was Carolyn Palumbo.
According to the court file, Gaston and the victim had an argument which became a physical altercation. Although the exact occurrence of events and the story given to the police remains unclear, according to the victim, “I grabbed him first then we both grabbed each other by the hair. That’s as far as it went.”
However, later on, the alleged victim would file a police report with the impression that the defendant was extremely abusive, and pressed charges and requested a protective order. The victim would later confirm in court that “I was just so mad and hurt and angry I made it seem worse than what it was…he didn’t put his hands on me”
In court, she not only asked for the charges to be dropped but for the protective order cancelled, noting, “I didn’t make a correct statement in the police report—like, how can I get it off him and I’ll just take whatever I need to because I made a false police report.”
Public defender Davtyan said, “I don’t think we should be giving orders to protect people who don’t want to be protected by the court.”
All this was covered in a discussion between the victim and Judge Tom Dyer but was cut short in an objection made by DDA Carolyn Palumbo who argued, “This is a testimony and this isn’t the correct form of a question and answer. Going back and forth and questioning her about the facts of the case when she isn’t under oath I don’t believe is appropriate.”
The DDA requested that if the court were not to issue a protective order, then it needs to be clear on the record in case something happens to the alleged victim. In light of this, the judge asked whether or not the victim was in fear of the defendant—the victim said no.
Judge Dyer declared, “In the criminal justice system, there’s the protection of the public at large and you have to listen to what the alleged victim has to say [but] the alleged victim doesn’t always control what’s going on.”
Judge Dyer then decided not to issue a restraining order, but did continue the case with an arraignment set for Aug. 31 at 9 a.m.