Charges dismissed against three airmen accused of sexual assault

Charges dismissed against three airmen accused of sexual assault

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News release from Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office:


Clovis NM- Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, announced that her office has dismissed charges against Isaiah Edley, Thomas Newton, and Rahman Buchanan.  The three airmen had been facing felony charges stemming from their involvement in a reported sexual assault against a fellow airman last year in Clovis.
 
The three defendants were due to be jointly tried last month, however, the trial was continued due to the unavailability of defense counsel.  Prior to the dismissal, the case was scheduled to be tried in June of 2019.
 
District Attorney, Andrea Reeb stated, “After recently receiving the results of serology testing performed by the New Mexico State Crime Lab, reviewing this case in depth with our team of prosecutors and meeting with the investigators on the case, I have reached the conclusion that the State would be unable to prove this case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.  I want to make it clear, I am not saying that this sexual assault did not occur, but what happened and what can be proven to a jury are two different things.  This District Attorney’s Office has always been a strong advocate for victims of sexual assault, and we will continue to fight for justice for all victims of sexual assault.  However, this Office also has a duty to the community and individual defendants to only pursue a criminal case in front of a jury when we believe that it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  The right thing to do in this matter is to dismiss all charges and that will be done immediately.”
 
The District Attorney’s Office indicates that the dismissal is without prejudice meaning that if additional evidence comes to light, the case may be re-filed.  The District Attorney’s office also indicated that they are in communications with officials from Cannon Air Force Base regarding this decision.  “All of the information that we have gathered will be shared with the appropriate individuals at Cannon so that they can make an independent assessment of the matter,” said Reeb.
 
The three airmen had been released on bond pending the trial on the matter.

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