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TEEN ATTEMPTS TO CLEAR NAME page 2
Former Aquia Harbour teen files suit in attempt to clear his name in recanted rape accusation

Date published: 8/30/2009

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Stafford County prosecutors, sheriff's deputies and social workers had had previous encounters with the girl and evidence of her untruthfulness before this allegation.

Rafferty told the boy's father the boy should plead guilty because the prosecution had DNA test results that conclusively linked him to the crime, but a lab report shows the test was never conducted.

Though the boy is now 18 and an adult, neither he nor the girl is being named because of their ages at the time of the incident. Both sets of parents have different surnames from their children.

IMPACT ON THE ACCUSED

The suit claims the boy and his family suffer ongoing effects from the false accusation and from having his name on the sex-offender registry. They have moved twice since the boy's arrest.

"We live in constant fear--fear of future allegations, fear of strangers who see the Sex Offender Registry, fear of retaliation by Eric Olsen for continuing to maintain our son's innocence, fear of our young sons being out without us and without alibis," Cherri Dulaney, the boy's mother, said in her sworn statement. "I have little hope that anyone can undo the damage that has been done to him."

Dulaney said her oldest son lives with the effects of being imprisoned as a sex offender.

"[My son] is a different person now than before he was incarcerated," she said. "[He] continues to have great difficulty trusting people and fears that he will have to go away again."

He can't shake the habits learned while held in a juvenile correction center.

"He carries around a knapsack containing his valued belongings, he paces around the yard and insists on living according to a set, inflexible schedule," she said.

A younger brother fears he could meet the same fate.

Since the accused was released to his family in late February, a neighborhood girl has made a false sexual allegation against one of his brothers and someone has left a note on their door reading: "We don't want a rapist living in our neighborhood."

When police investigated the allegation against the brother, the girl admitted she made it up because she didn't like having a convicted rapist next door, Dulaney said.


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The following information comes from sworn statements gathered by the attorneys representing the teen who is suing the state Department of Juvenile Justice in an effort to clear his name.

The mother of the girl who accused the boy of rape and later said she lied seeks to right what she considers an injustice.

MICHELE SOUSA, the girl's mother, states that Stafford Detective Gerald Lloyd, the man who investigated the allegation and questioned the boy on the date of the alleged incident, "seemed to doubt the rape allegation at the beginning. Det. Lloyd seemed to be challenging that this had happened, and it made me mad then."

Lloyd indicated that the boy said he and the girl were friends, noted that the boy "seems a little slow," and "wondered if this wasn't a 'mistake.'"

Sousa said Stafford officials were familiar with her daughter and family from incidents prior to the June 2007 allegation.

"Both Child Protective Services and the Stafford prosecutors were aware of [my daughter's] history of false accusations, because they have had to deal with our family in the past."

One such encounter stemmed from the girl's Mother's Day 2000 accusation that her father caused bruises that she had on her legs. Her father spent the night in jail, but charges were later dropped after the prosecutor's office became convinced it was a lie.

ROBERT BALDWIN, former A.G. Wright Middle School special-education chairman: "[She] lied in order to save herself from getting into trouble. Her concern for her own self-preservation led her to make damaging statements about her teachers, her parents and peers, with no apparent understanding of the negative consequences to others of her words."

"Based on my knowledge of her behavior patterns, when I first learned that [she] had accused a young man of raping her, I doubted the veracity of her accusation."

THE ACCUSED TEEN said: "I pled guilty to those crimes on Aug. 22, 2007, because my lawyer Denise Rafferty told me that I didn't have a choice."

"I did not break into [the girl's] house, and I did not rape [the girl] and I never told anyone that I did."

EDGAR DULANEY, the boy's father, said the attorney misrepresented the evidence. "When I shared my uncertainty about [whether my son should plead guilty] with Ms. Rafferty, she immediately told me that Det. Lloyd would testify that [my son] had confessed to him. Ms. Rafferty then said that Det. Lloyd's testimony, along with the DNA results, would be plenty to convince any jury of his guilt. Ms. Rafferty showed me a folder and said the Commonwealth had the results of the DNA tests, and that the results showed that it was 100 percent certain that [my son] had raped [the girl]."

A state lab report shows tests were never conducted on evidence in the case and that Lloyd told the lab on Aug. 22, 2007--the date the boy entered his guilty pleas--not to test the evidence.

DANIEL TRYON, the boy's Brooke Point High School freshman basketball coach and study-hall proctor, said he "was congenial, quiet and even-tempered throughout the four hours each school day that I spent with him. [His] behavior did not noticeably change in the presence of girls: he was not preoccupied by girls and he did not exhibit any hostile, menacing or aggressive behavior whatsoever."

He "struck me as an affable but intellectually challenged young man."

Jan. 22--Innocence Project Director Deirdre Enright and JustChildren Legal Director Andrew K. Block Jr. send letter to Department of Juvenile Justice Director Barry R. Green asking him to release boy.

Feb. 25--Boy is released from Department of Juvenile Justice facility and placed on probation.

Aug. 18--Boy sues Department of Juvenile Justice in Stafford Circuit Court.