Please Note: Posts in the ‘My Story’ page always have the newest post on the top. If you would like to read the story from the beginning – start with “An Introduction”. Thanks for reading! ~IWFA
Two months had passed since I was interrogated for hours by detectives after being falsely accused of molesting a child. As the days went by, I was becoming more and more confident that there was nothing to worry about. Some things Detective Smith had said as I was leaving the office after the interrogation led me to believe he actually knew I was telling the truth. I also couldn’t imagine that if they believed I had abused this kid that they would allow me to continue ‘roaming the streets’ for two months. We also had been advised by an attorney that if we didn’t hear anything else from them it was pretty safe to assume they dropped it…
January 10, 2007:
This started out as any other Wednesday for me. I woke up, got dressed for work, and was in early. It was a fairly slow day, if I remember right. My co-worker and I had to go off-site for a while that morning. Interestingly enough – she was the only person at my workplace I had told about the allegations against me because she was a regular close co-worker of mine – and we shared pretty much everything.
11:30 AM – We were having a very good morning – getting things done, when my phone rang. We were in the middle of things at the time, and as I did not recognize the phone number, I did not answer the call. I continued to get calls from this number for the next few minutes – so finally I answered. To my surprise (and horror) Detective Smith was on the other end! He advised me that he was at my home, and needed to speak with me as soon as possible. (As a side note – this is just one of the many things that makes no sense about the Prosecutors Office. Detective Smith knew where I worked, and how many hours a week I put in…so why would they EVER think I would be home at 11:30AM in the middle of the week?). I advised the detective that I was working off-site, and was not immediately available. He asked where I was, and I told him. I later found out that where we were was apparently outside of the Detective’s jurisdiction. He asked when we could meet, and I told him I would call him as soon as I was back in the area.
As I hung up the phone, my heart was pounding. It can not be a good thing that the detective is trying to contact me after two months. I placed a call to the attorney friend I had spoken to about this earlier. His advice – do not speak to the detective about anything, and he gave me the number of a criminal defense attorney friend, Mr. Murphy. He told me to call and speak to him before I did anything else. Oh wow – a criminal defense attorney. Who would ever think that they would need a criminal defense attorney? I strived everyday to live my life right…to set an example for others…to take care of people who were less fortunate than me…to give when I had excess…and now I was about to call a criminal defense attorney! When I called, I got Mr. Murphy’s secretary. I briefly explained to her the situation, and she advised me that Mr. Murphy was in court, but she would try to interrupt him and have him call me back as soon as possible.
12:00 PM – I told my co-worker about the phone call, and we were actually about to head to another off-site place, when Detective Smith called back. He asked if I was available yet, and I told him that I was still working. He asked me where I was – and I thought it would be very bad if I wasn’t honest with him, and I told him where we were headed. He told me to stay there, and he would come to that site to talk to me. A few minutes later I received a call from Mr. Murphy, the attorney. I explained the whole thing to him. His words frightened me! He said “They are coming to arrest you.”. He told me to make sure I went with them peacefully, and to hang up and tell my family to contact him so he could coach them through the next steps. He told me to tell the detective that I had retained him as my attorney and to say nothing else to them. He also advised me to let him know what my bail was as soon as I knew so he could start making those arrangements. BAIL? I hadn’t even considered any of this!
12:30 PM – Detective Smith and his partner walk into the work site I was at. He asks if there is somewhere private we could talk so he didn’t have to ‘do this’ in front of everyone. I led him to an office. Detective Smith says “I have a warrant for your arrest issued by a Superior Court Judge”. He then proceeded to read the warrant to me (edited slightly to remove identifying information):
Under oath the complainant (Detective Smith) says that to the best of his knowledge within the jurisdiction of this court; The defendant did commit sexual assault by committing an act of sexual contact with the victim when he was less than 13 years old, and the defendant being at least four years older than the victim in violation of the statute.
Within the jurisdiction of this court, the defendant, having assumed the responsibility for the care of the victim, did engage in sexual conduct which impaired or debauched the morals of the victim in violation of the statute.
Probable cause is found for the issuance of this complaint. Pursuant to this warrant you are hereby commanded to arrest the named defendant and bring that person before the court to answer the complaint. Bail amount is set at $25,000 cash or bond, and the defendant may have no contact with the victim.
He then advised me that I had to empty my pockets, and remove my belt and shoelaces. I asked if I could leave my personal items with my co-worker, which he allowed me to do. He advised that I might want to take my phone so I had phone numbers I might need. He then told me that even though it was against their policy he was not going to handcuff me since I had been so cooperative this whole time. He told me to make sure my hands were visible the whole time, and that I had to walk between the two detectives. He allowed me to call my mother and tell her the bail amount, but said that is all I could talk about and I would be allowed to use the phone again once I was processed. I was escorted to their car, and placed in the backseat with the detective I had not met before. During the drive to the jail, Detective Smith made small talk with me as if we were out for a Sunday drive. He continued to do things that again made me think he knew I was being truthful (telling me this was all just procedure at the interrogation, asking to go to a private room to arrest me, not handcuffing me in violation of their policies, and now making small talk on the drive).
When we arrived at the jail I actually felt fairly calm and relaxed due to Detective Smith’s attitude. As we got out of the car he told me to put my hands together like I was handcuffed until we got inside, and he led me by the arm like you see on TV. I was placed into an interrogation room, and was told them would be back with me shortly. Detective Smith returned and explained the process to me. He told me that I would have to fill out some forms, and go over for fingerprinting and photographs. He asked if I thought my family would be able to arrange bail. I told him that I hoped so. He told me he would make the processing take as long as possible, so that if they could arrange bail before we were done I wouldn’t have to go into the jail (another kind gesture). He explained that once I was processed into holding at the jail it took a lot longer for a release on bail to occur. He also said “you don’t want to go in there with this kind of charge”.
As I waited for what seemed like hours, I heard a man who must have been Detective Smith’s supervisor say to him “Is he in custody?”. Detective Smith said “yes”, and the other man said “Then restrain him like he is in custody”. Detective Smith then came in and apologized, and attached my leg to a long handcuff bolted to the floor. He said when we left this room he would have to handcuff me from now on. I was taken downstairs for fingerprints and photographs by another detective who strangely enough said something to me like “we don’t judge you here” and “we can only do what the bosses tell us to do”. I ask to use the restroom – and have to be watched by the Detectives… I am returned to the interrogation room where I am again chained to the floor.
More time goes by, and Detective Smith comes in and tells my mom has arrived with the bail, and that he will have to walk me over to the jail intake where the bail will be processed. He handcuffs me again, and we walk outside and into the jail building. My mom, and best friend Charles are there. She tells me how they will only accept CASH, and she had to rush around to banks, and meet with branch managers, etc. to be able to withdraw that much cash, and she didn’t think she was going to be able to get it done before they closed for the day. Luckily, she had always saved money at home which she was able to use to come up with enough cash to pay the bail. We stood in the lobby at the jail and counted envelopes full of money for a long time before she was able to give them the money (plus a ‘filing fee’).
Finally – Detective Smith took off the handcuffs, shook my hand, and said “good luck”…as we walked out of the jail.
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