In an unexpected turn in an ongoing and unusual sex-crimes case, an Arizona county attorney's office has brought in an out-of-town prosecutor to pursue a criminal case against a university dean.
Charges were filed against the defendant, who for nearly 30 years served as the dean of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. Even though he was removed from his position after his indictment, the former dean still earns more than a quarter million dollars a year while on paid administrative leave. An indictment formally charges a person with a criminal offense.
The man, in his 60s, pleaded not guilty in October 2015 to charges of sexual assault, sexual abuse, aggravated assault, kidnapping and drugging a woman. According to court records, the woman told police she ran into the former dean, an acquaintance, at a restaurant where she was dining with friends. Because the woman is a realtor, the man invited her to see his home when they left the restaurant.
The pair were on his patio looking at his pool when the man went into the kitchen to pour her a drink, according to court documents. The woman stayed at the home for half an hour, finished her drink and went into the kitchen to get her purse when she blacked out. When she awoke, the woman was naked in the man's bed and she was bleeding from the face. She went to the hospital where she was treated for a broken nose, a swollen lip and an injury to her knee. Police reportedly found evidence in the home to support her story.
However, the man claims the sex was consensual and his attorney argued that local police are biased in favor of the woman because she previously had been a key witness in a high-profile criminal case. In April, the defense attorney asked a judge to remove a local prosecutor from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. Even though the county attorney denied any conflict, she agreed to bring in a prosecutor from another county to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
The trial had been scheduled to begin last February, but it was postponed while a judge considers a defense motion to suppress evidence in the case. The defense attorney has asked that two judges be removed from the case and has filed more than 20 pretrial motions.
Pretrial motions can be brought by a defense attorney to argue: an improper venue, violation of a right to a speedy trial, vindictive prosecution, an error in a hearing, a motion to suppress evidence and other potential defects in the prosecution.
Regardless of the circumstances, everyone deserves the best defense. If you are facing criminal charges and need an attorney who will look out for your best interests, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.