September 19, 2012
In Durham County
The North Carolina State Bar has filed a complaint alleging misconduct by an Assistant District Attorney for Durham County.
The prosecutor represented the State in a case in which the defendant was charged with sexual abuse of a child. He was not the child's father. The mother of the child denied that the abuse had taken place.
After the conclusion of the State's case, the judge dismissed two of the three charges. The prosecutor learned that the mother had an impending visitation. She had the mother arrested on the same charges that had just been dismissed against the defendant.
The bar complaint allege that (i) the prosecutor had the mother arrested and charged to prevent the visitation and (ii) knew the charges had no basis in law.
The judge released the mother on unsecured bond and, shortly thereafter, dismissed the charges.
The prosecutor's answer admits most of the alleged facts but denies knowledge at the time that her conduct in causing the arrest and charges was precluded under law.
She admits that she now has such knowledge. (Mike Frisch)
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