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For 18 months, I had been accused of crimes I did not commit’: Former Duquesne University basketball player talks about rape charges being dropped
Below is the real story and why the DA had evidentiary issues.
K. B. is no longer an “alleged victim of sexual assault”. She wasn’t a victim September 2017 and certainly is not a victim now. K.B. was not forced to accept the plea agreement. She chose to accept the offer as recommended to her by the Commonwealth.
Nicholas Washington never asked for a plea agreement and was prepared to go to trial. The unsolicited offer was submitted to Mr. Washington’s by the District Attorney’s Office at Grafe & Batchelor, P.C., days before trial was to begin. The Commonwealth encouraged K.B. to accept the plea because her unsubstantiated claims were simply incredible and the evidence did not support her story.
It was her idea to go back to the dorm room, with the intent to have consensual sex. It was K.B. who told the police she never said no.
K. B. did not want to expose herself to the truth in open court so she read her victim impact statement, knowing she would not be subject to cross examination. That cross examination would have included questions regarding her own statements on the night of the incident. It would have included statements she gave to the police, which were stipulated to by the prosecution, that Mr. Washington was innocent of the allegations and had done nothing wrong.
Whether you are a prosecuting attorney or a defense attorney, we are all bound by certain ethical duties. As a prosecutor those duties include, refraining from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause. If there had been probable cause, there would have been absolutely no reason to withdraw the charges. Had the Commonwealth believed her story, that alone could have provided support to proceed in the prosecution. Had this case proceeded to trial it would have been clear that Ms. Battin fabricated her story. It would have been abundantly clear that what she alleged was completely false.
If the justice system failed, it failed Nick Washington. For 18 months his life was put on hold. Between the time of the allegation and the day conveying an offer nothing had changed. Probable cause to support the charges never existed.
Mr. Washington pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct, which is the lowest level, non-sexually related misdemeanor in Pennsylvania. Mr. Washington pleaded guilty despite his innocence, only due to the inherent risks of going to trial as a young black man.
It took almost a year to obtain justice, but finally the case was dismissed. Ms. Busia was wrongly charged with a number of serious felony offenses by an over zealous officer. She lost her job, had to fight for her unemployment, and has suffered unimaginable embarrassment from the start. After succeeding in her unemployment hearings and a lot of hard work and patience, Ms. Busia’s case is over. The entire case was withdrawn by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office as we were prepared to pick a jury on January 16, 2019.
BEAVER — Criminal charges filed against the owner of a defunct personal-care home were dismissed prior to a preliminary hearing.
The 78-bed facility on Norwood Drive was closed in October after an employee reported not having been paid by Katekovich for two months of work. In all, three employees were named in a criminal complaint filed against her.
One former employee reported she was not paid $560 by Katekovich for hours she worked between Sept. 24 and Oct. 14, police said. Another told police she had not been paid for two months of work, though the report did not specify the amount she was owed.
Police said a third employee reported her insurance through the company Aflac was canceled in March when Katekovich stopped paying into the account, even though the employee said she had money taken out of her pay to cover the insurance, police said.
Katekovich’s defense attorney, Steven Townsend, said all three cases were dismissed. Only one of the cases, he said, was “valid.” Katekovich resolved that case by paying the employee the $560 she was owed.
In the case of the Aflac account, Townsend said documents showed that the employee was actually covered by the company and that the money had not been taken out.
The third employee did not cooperate with the investigation and failed to appear in court, Townsend said.
Three charges of theft were dismissed against Katekovich. Townsend said Katera’s Kove remains closed.
At the time she was charged, 19 residents were relocated from the home, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
BEAVER — It took a Beaver County jury less than two hours Friday to find a man not guilty on charges he sexually assaulted a 3-year-old New Brighton girl six years ago.
Thomas H. Javens II, 33, whose last known address was 1621 Sampson St., Conway, was accused of inappropriately touching the girl, now 9, in her home. He was charged with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault by New Brighton Area police in May 2012 after a forensic interviewer concluded the girl was making what they call a “positive disclosure” of sexual abuse, according to the police report.
After the interviewer’s ruling, police set up a telephone call using the mother to obtain a confession from Javens. His defense attorney, Steven Townshend, however, argued during this week’s trial that the apology Javens gave on the recording was for a recent argument involving the child, not past sexual contact.
Townshend argued it was an older child in the home who touched the girl, not Javens, and her mother was taking advantage of the situation to harm Javens, who she was fighting with over a custody issue involving another child.
Assistant District Attorney Frank Martocci argued the girl has always been consistent in her story about what happened and that Javens inappropriately touched her.
He also argued that the apology telephone call clearly was about the 2007 incident, not the more recent argument.
After the verdict was read, though, Martocci said, “I respect the jury’s decision.”