Crime

South Carolina Issues Statement On Reopening Charlamagne's 2001 Rape Case

By HHL JT
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In 2001, a then 22-year old Charlemagne Tha God was accused of raping 15-year old Jessica Reid at a house party he threw.

However, the original charge of “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously engaging in penile/vaginal intercourse with a fifteen-year-old female child" was dropped when Reid refused to cooperate with prosecutors. She did so on the advice of her mother who said she wanted to spare her the scrutiny of a rape trial.

CTG -- who denies any contact with the girl -- then pleaded guilty to the much lesser charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and got three years probation.

Earlier this week, both Reid and her mother announced their intention to have the case reopened on the original charges.

Yesterday, South Carolina Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson shot that down. In a statement, she explained what happened 17 years ago and why CTG won't face any more legal jeopardy.

"The plea was negotiated because the alleged victim in the matter did not cooperate with the prosecutor," said Wilson in a statement. "The prosecutor made this agreement because of the victim's absence and the lack evidence available at the time. While the tools and technology of justice have evolved, in cases involving personal violence, the State must have the witness to prosecute. Too often, the key witness will not come forward in support of criminal prosecution. Trying a tough case is no problem; trying an impossible case is not ethical.

South Carolina law is clear that once a defendant enters plea negotiations and a plea agreement is accepted but he court, due process requires the State to honor the agreement," she continued. We are duty bound to honor the agreement in this case. The State's prosecution has ended and the dismissed charge against Mr. McKelvey will not be resurrected. The law presumes that Mr. McKelvey is innocent of the dismissed allegation."

Do you think this will settle the matter, or will there still be folks coming for CTG's head?

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