The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has a responsibility to re-evaluate cases continually at every stage of a proceeding. That analysis is based on the facts and nothing else.
Political or community pressure do not play a part in the decisions made by my professional prosecutors to file or reject a case or to dismiss a case after a case has been filed.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office files 70,000 misdemeanor and felony cases a year. And those cases are subject to review by various levels of review by prosecutors. Some of those cases are elevated to the highest level in my office – to the elected District Attorney. The majority are not.
Orange County – the community I am sworn to protect and serve – is an incredibly diverse community. And we serve every aspect of our community without prejudice or bias.
After careful review of the evidence in this case, I personally made the decision several days ago to dismiss this case because I did not believe the facts could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Let me be clear: this decision was made long before this opinion piece appeared in this publication and the assertions of the authors had no bearing on my decision.
As the elected District Attorney, I am tasked with making the most difficult decisions that can impact people’s livelihoods and freedoms. This is not a task I take lightly, nor is it a task I do without a thorough review of the facts.
My prosecutors have spent the last several days attempting to reach the witnesses in this case to notify them of our decision to dismiss all charges against the defendants. That notification was made today.
The authors of this opinion piece relied on news accounts that fell short on the entire set of facts and misstated the evidence in the case, including statements erroneously attributed to law enforcement, and that is not their fault. I want to thank the authors of this piece for bringing forward a discussion on this issue.
I invite the authors of this opinion piece to join my Community Advisory Committee which focuses on LGBTQ issues to provide insight and feedback to my office on these kinds of issues.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer
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