New trial for Georgia man who raped woman with Down syndrome

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 26, 2014 

Judge Christopher McFadden

Update: A commenter has pointed toward the full text of Judge McFadden's decision here, writing, "I'd recommend reading the transcript before crucifying the judge. I don't agree with the decision, but it's important to get both sides before hitting the warpath ... The judge focuses on poor lawyering as much as he focuses on the victim's behavior."

•••

William Jeffrey Dumas was convicted of repeatedly raping a 24-year-old woman with Down syndrome on Oct. 18, 2010 — but Appellate Judge Christopher McFadden has overturned the jury’s verdict, according to the AJC.

McFadden, taking leave from his appellate duties, had presided over Dumas' trial in Fayette County and sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

In his ruling on a request for a new trial, McFadden wrote that the woman did not behave like a victim when complaining about the assault the day after it occurred. “Nor did Mr. Dumas behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes." The jury's verdict does "not have the approval of the court’s mind and conscience."

The decision has been met with "disgust" from the Fayette County District Attorney.

The paper reports that the District Attorney’s Office has filed a motion asking McFadden to recuse himself, noting "trial testimony established that Dumas’ semen was found on the bed on which the woman slept the night of the alleged attack and that a doctor who examined the woman had made findings that were consistent she had been forcibly raped."

McFadden denied the prosecution’s motion on Feb. 5.

"I had to go visit the Down’s Syndrome woman who was the victim of the rape and tell her that even though a jury had convicted her assailant of the crime, the judge was giving the guy a new trial ... I just hope we can get some justice,” DA Scott Ballard told the AJC Wednesday.

The paper was not immediately able to reach McFadden for comment.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service