Man vindicated as charged against him are dropped
Granddaughter recanted allegations of sex abuse

By BRIAN HUBER - GM Today Staff
April 6, 2001

WAUKESHA - Thursday was a long time coming for a Waukesha man who had the case against him dismissed after his granddaughter recanted allegations of sexual assault. 

"I knew I just had to keep fighting my case," the man said after being released. "Iím pretty surprised about this whole ordeal."

The 65-year-old man, who is not being named to protect his family, was sentenced to a 30-year prison term in June, 1999, by Judge Joseph Wimmer. The man pleaded no contest to the allegations brought by his granddaughter, now 9, that he touched her inappropriately "a bunch of times," a criminal complaint said.

No evidence was offered to show the assaults occurred other than the girlís testimony.

But the man received a new trial in January after the girl retracted her statements last May. The day the man was sentenced, the girl told her mother "I donít want to lie. ... Grandpa didnít touch me," her mother testified in court.

The girl later testified that she had not been assaulted and was influenced by her grandmother, the manís ex-wife, to make the false report. The grandmother denied pressuring the girl to lie. Instead she blamed the girlís mother and her fiancee. They also denied telling the girl to lie.

Without the girlís allegation, Assistant District Attorney Lloyd Carter told Judge James Kieffer Thursday that he felt the state could not meet its burden of proof. He asked the judge to dismiss the case.

Defense attorney Lew Wasserman said he was pleased with the outcome.

"He did absolutely the right thing," Wasserman said of Carter. "In the final analysis, itís clear that this little girl was unfairly prompted to make her initial allegations and given her extremely credible testimony to that end this is the only possible result."

The manís ex-wife, who divorced him more than a decade ago, was in court Thursday to see how the case would be resolved. She said she hadnít talked to her daughter or her granddaughter, the accuser in the case, since the man was sentenced June 4, 1999.

"Iím glad itís over with," she said.

She added that she hopes her daughter and her fiancee "do not blame me for going after my granddaughter and making her lie on the stand. ... I wouldnít do that to her. I wouldnít do that to any child, make them lie on the stand. ... I love her very much, thatís all I can say."

Carter left court without commenting on the case.

Wasserman said the man wanted to re-establish contacts with his family now that he has been vindicated, but they wanted to be "cautious" about that reunion.

The man served 19 months in prison, some of that time in the state of Tennessee before he was released on a signature bond in January. He said he had a lot of catching up to do.

"I have to think about getting my life back with all the stuff that I lost," he said.

Brian Huber can be reached at bhuber@conleynet.com
 

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