Charge dropped in raped-while-unconscious case
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
August 19, 2009 · Updated 3:16 PM
Prosecutors dropped a charge against an 18-year-old Oak Harbor man accused of raping an unconscious girl during a July 15 party.
Prosecutors had charged Andrew Rodriguez in Island County Superior Court with second-degree rape, or in the alternative, indecent liberties. Rodriguez was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl while she was "incapable of consent."
Rodriguez's attorney, Darrin Hall of Coupeville, said Friday that the prosecutor dismissed the case, though he wasn't sure why.
"I'm guessing the subsequent police report showed there was no way they could prove the case," he said.
That appears to be the case. According to Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks, police interviewed a teenaged girl who was at the party and contradicted the alleged victim's account of what happened. The witness indicated that the sex act appeared to be consensual.
The alleged victim had passed out from drinking and taking a prescription pill. She had no recollection of the sex act.
"There was simply no way to prove that Mr. Rodriguez knew she was incapable of consent," Banks wrote in an email message. "If it appeared consensual to the eye witness, it certainly could have appeared that way to Mr. Rodriguez. Given Mr. Rodriguez' presumption of innocence, dismissal was the right thing to do."
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.