Crown Prosecution Service incompetence or malevolence?

Check out this nasty prosecution reported by MSN

Commuter who walked past actress at Waterloo station cleared of ‘bizarre’ sex assault claim

It’s not clear from the linked article, but was there evidence that an assault did take place but that the police honed in on the wrong man?

There was no forensic evidence.

Based on this article, I’m having trouble understanding why charges were ever filed in the first place if there was no evidence, no eyewitness, and the supposed victim couldn’t identify her assailant.

Possibly an excess of caution, against the charge that they were not treating a “rape” charge seriously. Clearly we have yet to reach a sensible equilibrium between accepting the alleged victim’s claim without any other evidence (and even with objective evidence apparently to the contrary) vs. ignoring them altogether.

Also, the alleged victim being described as an actress, perhaps she had sufficient clout of some kind to get more action on her charge than an unknown nobody would have had.

The main question is why it was brought to court if the CCTV photos showed it was quite obviously all made up nonsense. He passed by her for approx. 1/2 second with his arms occupied and may not have even touched her. She said he slammed into her then penetrated her digitally for 2-3 seconds. It was all abject nonsense.

If that was the evidence they had to work with why bring the case to court?

Is his false accuser going to be named at any point?

Forgive me if I am wrong but I don’t think the methods of criminal prosecution in the United States are that similar to those in Britain. From what I have seen in British documentaries police are much more likely to arrest someone and bring them to a judge and let the judge sort it out, rather than have the investigators bring a more complete case.

Seems to be the way the system works there.

So in this case (and I have not admittedly looked at the evidence) it is possible the police and prosecutors react by saying “It looks like crap so let’s go ahead and get it to the judge so he can throw it out right quick.”

Overall the American viewpoint may be skewed because the systems are not as similar as we expect. In the end if they get it right then the process seems to work.

Except that’s not what happened. It went to trial by jury, and the whole thing took a year to play out.

It seems like this is where the grand jury could come in handy. The prosecutor could do due diligence by presenting it to the grand jury, who could then throw it out post haste. No indictment, no trial.

According to the defence, the prosecutor slowed down the CCTV footage by a factor of two in an attempt to make it look as if the defendant was in the vicinity of the actress for longer than he was, to give the impression that he might have had enough time to commit the alleged crime.

In the end the prosecution did not use the CCTV footage, presumably because it totally demolished what little case they had.

We usually have it the other way, there are cases where this is a significant amount of evidence, but CPS will not even attempt to prosecute for fear of failure.

There have been a number of deaths in police custody where video evidence clearly shows that certain individuals have a case to answer in court, and yet no prosecutions have been brought, until huge public pressure has been brought to bear.

There have been a number of fairly high profile cases where pressure had to be brought by MPs and the like, and the prosecution decision reviewed, and the case proceeded to a safe conviction.

They have also gone on to press for criminal proceedings where clearly there was no case to answer

These articles leave it very unclear how the police identified Pearson as a suspect in the first place.

Exactly. There is zero evidence that any crime had been committed at all. The video completely contradicts the victim’s version of events. The prosecutor should be fired, at the very least.

Except that I’ve read that grand juries hardly ever fail to indict. They are putty in the hands of prosecutor.

In this case, it sounds like the prosecutor had zero evidence aside from the statement from the alleged victim - no successful lineup ID, no corroborating video, no evidence of actual physical harm, nothing. In that case, even a grand jury might well refuse to indict.