Click to call 602-307-0808 24/7 Click Here for Free Consultation

Arizona Criminal Law

New Evidence Leads to Dismissal of Child Sex Abuse Charges

With trial scheduled to begin only nine days later, charges of child sex abuse against Robert Koenig, 63, were dismissed at the prosecution’s request, motivated by the discovery of new evidence following Mr. Koenig’s indictment some six months earlier.

Mr. Koenig faced two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of rape under that indictment. Those charges stemmed from Koenig’s role as a foster parent, a role he and his wife had shared for five years by the time Mr. Koenig was first charged.

When it learned of the abuse allegations, the official licensing agency, Lucas County Children Services, began the process of removing the Koenigs from the foster care program. The Koenigs, however, withdrew voluntarily before that removal process was completed.

Robert Koenig - Public PhotoMr. Koenig had been a teacher for the Toledo Public Schools from 1975 to 2010, spending most of his career in middle schools. He worked as a substitute teacher in that school system for three years until his retirement in 2013.

According to Frank Spryszak, the assistant county prosecutor who sought the dismissal, his action was driven by the discovery of new evidence “that put us in a position that we no longer felt that we had sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.”

Lorin Zaner, the attorney defending Mr. Koenig, describes himself as a leading child sex abuse lawyer with a particular interest in false abuse allegations. He said that the dismissal came as a great relief to his client. “We had the documentation to show that there’s no way our guy could’ve done what they said,” he said.

At the same time, he called attention to the negative consequences of the allegations for Mr. and Mrs. Koenig, a state of affairs that may be familiar to him as a sex crimes lawyer. “They truly had a desire to help children. To be in a position of being falsely accused because you put yourself out there to help children is a tragedy because these are good people. Their names are drug through the mud. Why do you want to put yourself in that position? It’s terrible.”

Mr. Koenig had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he had been released on $300,000 bond after appearing before Court of Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks, the same judge who later heard the prosecution’s request to dismiss all charges.

Mr. Spryszak pointed to the prosecution’s duty to seek justice in explaining his dismissal request. “If we do not feel we have enough evidence to go forward, we can’t force a case to trial if we can’t prove it,” he said.

According to Dean Sparks, Executive Director of Lucas County Children Services, the Koenigs provided foster care for about 10 children while in the program, mostly on a short-term basis. An agency spokesperson, Julie Malkin, said that the agency had performed a full investigation, performing criminal background checks and obtaining personal references, before approving the Koenigs as foster parents. Local police, the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the FBI are all included in the investigation. In addition, the couple had received 36 hours of formal training in accordance with agency requirements. Caseworkers visited the Koenig home monthly for inspections, and there had been no complaints prior to the allegations that resulted in criminal charges.

When Mr. Koenig was first indicted, Mr. Sparks spoke to the difficulty of achieving certainty when evaluating foster parents. “We’re not going to do psychological tests on everybody,” he said. “People think that’s some magical thing. Psych people can’t predict the future. They can’t read your minds, so that really wouldn’t provide any benefits for us.”

Mr. Zaner thanked Mr. Spryszak for “doing the right thing,” noting that there were inconsistencies in the statements of the alleged victim, a boy under the age of 10, among other problems with the prosecution’s case.

If you or anyone you know has been accused or charges with child molestation or need a sex crimes lawyer, contact the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor immediately.

Man arrested second time for stabbing stranger in Phoenix

PHOENIX – 27-year-old Christopher Gale was arrested on Sunday for a second time on suspicion of aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder. The incident took place at a Phoenix Walgreens store.

According to police reports, the crime actually occurred in September 2013 when Gale stabbed a stranger using an eight-inch knife he had bought from a Walmart store just a few hours before the stabbing. He went to a Walgreens store about four miles away from the Walmart store, approached a woman who was shopping and stabbed her in the neck from behind. The woman started screaming and an armed off-duty federal agent, who happened to be in the store, ran over from the checkout line where he was standing and pulled the weapon away from the woman and ordered Gale to get on the ground and put the knife down.

Gale was arrested for a previous crime but was found incompetent to stand trial for the charges he was facing. The charges against Gale were dismissed in May 2013 by a court commissioner and he was ordered to receive treatment at a psychiatric facility which he did. After his release from Desert Vista Behavior Health, a mental health facility in Mesa, Gale was subsequently arrested for the stabbing. According to the court documents, when Gale stabbed the woman at the Walmart store, she turned around to face her attacker who told her, “I’m killing you to save the world.”

The woman suffered a puncture wound which needed several staples. She was able to push away her attacker.

Gale later told the police that he bought the eight-inch knife to “stab and kill” someone.

According to Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, it is not yet decided if any charges will be filed again against Gale.

Gale had a run-in with the law in 2012 also when he was arrested on the suspicion of indecent exposure and drug-related offenses. He pled guilty to the reduced charges in that case.

Gale appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court on Friday for an initial appearance and is being held on $1 million bond on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. His lawyer , Roger Margolis, did not immediately return a call Friday for comment. The attorney was appointed on the orders of a commissioner to represent Gale in court.

Online court records did not describe the alleged crimes which Gale is facing. However, the commissioner who ordered Gale to undergo psychiatric treatment said in a May 29 order that Gale was a danger to others as well as to himself. He also said that he is unable to understand the nature of proceedings against him and needed assistance in his defense.

 

Author Bio:

Law Office Of Mark Rosenfeld provides strong and aggressive legal representation for DUI Cases in Beverly Hills, California.

58-year-old Phoenix man arrested for 1989 sexual assault, murder

PHOENIX – 58-year-old Cudellious Love, of Phoenix, was arrested on Friday by the Phoenix police officers after they found DNA evidence that linked him to an unsolved murder and sexual assault from 1989.

A report released by the Phoenix Police Department’s crime lab in January indicated a DNA match between a sample taken from the scene and a DNA profile in the state database. According to the court records released Monday, the DNA belonged to a 58-year-old man named Cudellious Love who was in prison for more than three years for a drug conviction. The DNA evidence linked Love to an unsolved murder and sexual assault from 1989.

The murder victim, Laura Hunding, of Phoenix, was stabbed to death in her apartment where her body was found in July 1989. According to the police, Love’s DNA was found on Hunding’s body.

Records show that there was no sign of forced entry into her apartment which was located near 48th Street and McDowell Road. Police investigated the murder, but they did not have any leads in the case.

Hunding’s body was found by her landlord at about 10:30 am on July 17, after witnesses reported last seeing her on July 16. According to the witnesses, Hunding had attended an Alcoholics Anonymous dance that night at Scottsdale Community College and she returned to her home alone.

Love was located and questioned by police on May 12 when he denied having any knowledge of Hunding or her murder which happened nearly 25 years ago.

According to court records, Love claimed he had never ‘messed with’ White women. He also claimed that he has never been to the victim’s apartment and was not familiar with the east side of Phoenix at all. The court records also stated that he was shown photographs of the victims and the victim’s apartment and he maintained he had never seen the victim or her apartment. He said there would be no reason his fingerprints or DNA would be found or identified as part of the crime scene.

Love was arrested on Friday 13 June after the agency’s crime lab determined that Love’s DNA matched the DNA at the scene. There was no mistaking that because “the approximate incidence of this profile is 1 in 110 quadrillion African Americans,” records show.

He was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Laura Hunding in July 1989.

Author Bio:

The attorneys at Bleile, Witte & Lape are committed to defend clients accused/ convicted of any kind of sexual crime throughout Cincinnati, Ohio.

Click Here for Free ConsultationComparison Questions to Ask when Hiring a Lawyer

[contact-form-7 id="8868" title="Exit Intent"]