By Vanguard Staff
SAN FRANCISCO – His arrest may have cost him a job, but a San Francisco man was found not guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence by a jury here this week after it was learned the case a bit more complicated than arresting officers believed.
According to a press statement, Deputy Public Defender Cooper Findlay “presented a case of self-defense that ended a 14-month old case that hindered the man’s job prospects.”
“My client and I are grateful that the jury listened to the testimony, reviewed the evidence, and made the right decision,” said PD Findlay.
While police arrested the man in June a year ago after a 911 call – he was accused of hitting his live-in partner – the defendant told police his partner was drunk when he came home and “physically attacked” him. Police didn’t document his injuries and packed him off to jail.
It was later learned, according to evidence presented at court, that the woman had attacked the defendant previously and been arrested before for attacking a previous partner, who agreed to testify after the PD Office located him.
The defendant spent six days in jail, and attended court-ordered anger management classes along with Assertive Case Management meetings.
But, said the PD Office, he had “a potential employer turn him down because they had found the arrest on a background check.”
“Domestic violence is a very serious situation that no one should have to suffer, but the consequences of a false accusation are also serious,” said San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju. “In these challenging situations, it can be difficult for jurors to set aside assumptions, but Mr. Findlay and his team did an excellent job uncovering and presenting the fuller picture.”
According to the PD office, they will be connecting the defendant with the San Francisco Public Defender Clean Slate program, which assists people with clearing their records of past arrests which can often be a hindrance to job opportunities.