Victim Testimony Leads to Dismissal of Charges against 1 of 2 Accused in Assault Case

By Angelina Sang

MODESTO, CA – The prosecution’s victim testimony provided salvation for one of two individuals accused in an assault case in the courtroom of Judge Dawna Reeves here in Stanislaus County Superior Court late last week.

The co-accused currently face a myriad of charges for their alleged involvement in an assault May 29 in Modesto.

The co-accused, reportedly romantically linked, each have moderate criminal histories on their own. Now, the two shared felony-level charges for assault, battery and false imprisonment.

The victim, a parent of two, was allegedly severely beaten for hours and prevented from leaving one of the accused’s residence by the co-accused.

During Thursday’s proceedings, Deputy District Attorney Sara Sousa called to the stand the victim, whose stirring testimony identified the co-accused as the two individuals involved in her assault.

However, when Sousa asked the victim who was preventing the victim from leaving the apartment, the victim’s answer placed one of the accused in an interesting position.

“She was,” said the victim in response to Sousa’s question. “I’m not sure if he was telling her  to leave me alone. I don’t know if he was trying to help me get up or if he was stopping her.”

After further questioning, the victim tried to recall the blurry night, but was unable to confirm to the court that one of the accused took an active part in the assault.

According to DDA Sousa, the victim’s original police statement said both the accused actively participated in her assault.

The victim said she did not call the police, adding she didn’t want them involved, noting, “I hadn’t had an altercation with the police for years now,” said the victim. “I just thought it was my fault because I was drinking.”

The hospital staff that cared for the victim apparently disagreed—the police report said it was the hospital who called the police after seeing the victim.

Deputy Public Defender Reed Wagner attempted to discredit the victim’s testimony, noting the victim’s intoxicated state and noting discrepancies between the victim’s police statement and court testimony.

However, Judge Reeves found the victim credible.

“I thought she was credible in that she really did not want the police involved but that she was concerned about her condition and went to the hospital and the hospital is the one who called the police. She seemed like she was forthright in how much she had to drink and forthright in what she was not remembering,” said Judge Reeves.

“The evidence may be insufficient for a holding order on any of these charges,” stated Judge Reeves. “[One of the accused] is discharged in this order.”

The other accused will appear in court next on Aug 25.

About The Author

Angelina is a junior at UCSB from San Carlos, California studying Psychological and Brain Sciences and History pursuing a pre-law track.

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