Sexual Assault Charges Dismissed For ‘Insufficient Evidence’

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A week before a Payson teen was set to face trial for allegedly assaulting a 12-year-old girl more than three years ago the case was dismissed.

On Sept. 14, the Gila County attorney’s office requested the dismissal due to “insufficient evidence,” according to court documents.

Judge Gary Scales granted the motion Sept. 21, six days before the trial was to start.

The defendant was 14 years old at the time of the incident and is now 18.

It is the Roundup’s policy not to name victims or suspects in sex-related crimes.

The teen was accused of meeting the girl behind a shopping center on March 13, 2008, getting her drunk and then sexually assaulting her on a mattress, according to police reports.

The case took a complicated route through the justice system, with a grand jury indicting the teen in November 2009 and a slew of conferences following.

The teen sat quietly at most of the pretrial conferences with his lawyer, Ronald Debrigida Jr. doing the talking.

State prosecutors at one time said they would call 15 witnesses to testify during trial.

Now more than three years after being arrested, the teen is free of all charges.

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