Charges Dropped in 24 Year Old Rape Case
Laramie County District Attorney Scott Homar announced Friday that he was filed for dismissal of all pending charges against Andrew Johnson. Johnson was originally charged with first degree sexual assault and burglary in 1989. He was designated as a habitual offender due to his criminal record and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2012, Johnson filed a petition for DNA testing of evidence that was collected at the time of the assault. Johnson’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial after dna tests were performed on seminal fluid found in the victim’s sexual assault kit. The fluid didn’t match Johnson, and further testing ordered by the state shows the DNA matched the victim’s then-fiancé. Following the testing results, the court granted a new trial which was set to start in october.
In a press release, Homar said ” this is not an exoneration” and “there is certainly evidence that weighs against Johnson in this matter…evidence that was used to convict him in 1989.” Homar added that due to the time lapse, unavailability of physical evidence, unavilability and credibility of witnesses and the recent DNA evidence, the District Attorney’s office is “no long able to overcome the burden of proof.” He said they are ethically obligated to dismiss the charges against Johnson. j