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Woman Jailed for 5 Days for Failing to Testify in Rape Case

October 01, 2003|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A woman was released from jail Tuesday after spending five days locked up for repeatedly failing to show up in court to testify against a man accused of raping her.

The woman's lawyer persuaded Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker to shorten the 10-day sentence and release her Tuesday.

Charges were dismissed against Michael Lindsey, 25, after the woman's second failure to appear to testify at trial. He was accused of raping the 33-year-old suburban Cincinnati woman July 8 in the woods near her home.

In citing the woman for contempt of court last week, Dinkelacker said, "If victims don't participate in the system, we don't have justice." The woman, who had missed a hearing as well as the two trial dates, told the judge that neighbors had threatened her and her children, calling her a snitch.

The prosecutor said he would consider refiling charges if the woman agreed to testify. The woman's attorney, William Welsh, said she is willing.

Lindsey is prepared to defend himself if charged again, said his lawyer, William Flax.

Welsh said Tuesday he understood that Dinkelacker was trying to protect the integrity of the justice system by ensuring that someone who complains of a crime appears in court.

He said his client "now knows that if she raises an allegation of a serious crime, she has to see it through."

But Ann MacDonald, executive director of Women Helping Women, said Monday that the judge "was really re-victimizing the victim."

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