A Report from Your New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers
A 43-year-old man is getting his first taste of freedom in close to 10 years after his daughter recanted her rape allegations against him. The man, Thomas Kennedy, spent close to 10 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of raping his daughter Cassandra Kennedy.
At age 11, Cassandra, who is now 23, alleged that her father had raped her. He was arrested, tried by a jury, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He has served nine years of his 15-year sentence.
Earlier this year, Cassandra Kennedy came forward to recant the allegations against her father. She told authorities that she lied about the sexual assault because she was angry with her father and distraught over her parents’ bitter divorce. However, feelings of guilt over her behavior have prompted her to reveal the truth, she claims.
Prosecutors in Cowlitz County who handled the case were as stunned at Cassandra’s volte face as everyone else. They have been strongly criticized by New Jersey criminal defense lawyers and advocacy groups around the country. However, according to the prosecutors, they do not intend to charge Cassandra Kennedy for her lies because they do not want to discourage other victims of sexual assault from coming forward to report a crime.
Often, persons are convicted of sexual assault on the basis of the testimony of the child victims. New Jersey criminal defense lawyers know that child testimony can be a sensitive and delicate matter. Nobody wants to call a child a liar. However, the truth is that children are often influenced to give testimony against parents or other adults.
The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with fraud, sex crimes, drug crimes, murder, assault and other crimes across New Jersey.