A rape charge was dismissed Thursday against a former Lynnwood firefighter after prosecutors decided there were too many questions about the case to bring it before jurors.
Jerry Michael Wright, 33, of Everett was charged early this year with second-degree rape after he allegedly forced sex on a semiconscious woman who had been drinking heavily at a 1999 Fourth of July party.
The charge alleged rape because Wright had sex with the woman when she was "incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless and mentally incapacitated," according to documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Additional investigation raised questions about when the sex allegedly occurred and whether the woman was incapacitated by alcohol, deputy prosecutor Walt Sowa said in an affidavit filed Thursday along with the dismissal notice.
Among other things, investigators found records showing that the woman had placed phone calls to a friend in Virginia during the time when she allegedly was so incapacitated by alcohol that she could not consent to sex.
"Though probable cause existed for the filing of this charge, this case from the outset presented significant issues of fact to be resolved by a jury," Sowa wrote. "Put simply, it was a ‘close’ case. Today, based upon all the information now in possession of the state, it can be fairly characterized as one in which it is extremely unlikely a reasonable jury could or would convict."
The rape allegedly occurred during an Independence Day block party in Wright’s south Everett-area neighborhood.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to email@example.com or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.