An Australian student who faced up to ten years in prison has been exonerated of rape and sexual assault charges after text messages from the victim revealing that the sex was consensual were released in court.
“It wasn’t against my will or anything,” a text from the accuser read. That text may have saved student Liam Allan from up to ten years in jail. The case against Allan was ultimately dismissed because police failed to turn over 40,000 text messages to the court.
Allan described the two-year investigation into the alleged incident as “mental torture.” Allan had spent the last two years out on bail before the court was forced to dismiss the charges over the police’s mishandling of evidence.
“You are all on your own,” he said, describing his experience, “I could not talk to my mother about the details of the case because she might have been called as a witness. I couldn’t talk with my friends because they might have been called. I felt completely isolated at every stage of the process.”
Prosecutor Jerry Hayes lamented the fact that Allan was almost convicted of a crime that he didn’t commit, calling it a near miss of a “massive miscarriage of justice.”
“There was a terrible failure in disclosure which was inexcusable,” Hayes said. “There could have been a serious miscarriage of justice, which could have led to a very significant period of imprisonment and life on the sex offenders register. It appears the officer in the case has not reviewed the disk, which is quite appalling.”
“The defense quickly saw the information blew the prosecution out of the water. If they had not been seen this boy faced 12 years in prison and on the sex offenders’ register for life with little chance of appeal. This was a massive miscarriage of justice, which thank heavens was avoided,” Hayes said in a statement.