MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — A judge granted a motion Wednesday to dismiss a 13-count grand jury indictment against Michael Gressett, a Contra Costa County sex crimes prosecutor who was accused of raping a junior colleague.
Judge Thomas Hastings issued the decision Wednesay, saying that “even though there was sufficient probable cause to indict the defendant,” inadmissible evidence introduced by the prosecution and prosecutors’ failure to provide key evidence that would have helped vindicate the defendant, violated Gressett’s right to a fair trial.
Defense attorneys Daniel Russo and Michael Kotin had filed the motion to dismiss the indictment, which charged Gressett with the rape and sodomy of his colleague—referred to in court as Jane Doe—during a lunch break at his Martinez home on May 8, 2008.
During testimony in the criminal trial, the colleague stated that she faced discrimination and was turned down for a full-time position after reporting the alleged rape.
In the 68-page order to dismiss the indictment, Hastings said that the state Attorney General’s office, which is prosecuting the case, failed to tell the grand jury that the woman won a $450,000 settlement after filing a civil claim against the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.
In addition, the prosecution did not disclose her “alleged comment that she was raped by strangers,” Hastings said.
Over the past three years, the defense attorneys have said that Gressett and the woman engaged in consensual sex on May 8, 2008, and that the alleged victim falsely accused Gressett of rape for political motivations.
“We’re very happy with the decision but we’re waiting for what the attorney general’s going to do,” Russo said Wednesday.
Attorney General spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill said the state is evaluating its options in the case, which include appealing Hastings’ ruling or re-filing criminal charges.
Gressett, 54, is on paid administrative leave from the district attorney’s office and was not available for comment.
A hearing on the case is scheduled for Oct. 26, Russo said.
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