Charges Dropped against Arlington Jogger Attack Suspect

Charges Dropped against Arlington Jogger Attack Suspect

A Mid-South man accused of attacking a jogger was set to walk out of jail on Monday night, hours after prosecutors decided to drop charges.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Mid-South man accused of attacking a jogger was set to walk out of jail on Monday night, hours after prosecutors decided to drop charges.

St. Roland Jean Charles was arrested on December 2011 after the victim identified him at the scene.

"He's ecstatic, he's got a 7-week old baby at home he's going to meet for the first time tonight," said Blake Ballin, Jean Charles' lawyer.

According to the affidavit, the woman claimed she was attacked while jogging near the intersection of Longleaf Oak Trial and Knob Creek. After being pushed to the ground, she said the suspect tried to grab her ankles. She was able to break free and run to a neighbor for help.

Ballin says from the start, the victim's description didn't match Jean Charles.

"There were footprints in the area in the mud that didn't match his shoes, the description she initially gave didn't match the clothing he had on, the height and weight didn't match Mr. Jean-Charles, he didn't fit the description." Ballin said. "Didn't fit the description, didn't fit the motive, so we steadfastly maintained his innocence."

According to Ballin, Jean Charles had been offered deals before, but rejected them.

"He has refused all along to take anything and do anything that in anyway show he was guilty because he has maintained all along that was not," Ballin said.

Ballin said moments before Monday's trial was set to start, prosecutors agreed to drop charges.

"Really moments before we were set to start picking the jury this deal was reached," Ballin said.

Residents in Jean Charles' former neighborhood were not happy Monday night to hear the news.

"I hate that, he should be prosecuted for what he did," said Westin Thompson.

A spokesman with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said Monday evening the decision to drop the charges came after consulting with the victim, who didn't want to go through another trial.

Jean Charles isn't out of the woods altogether. In November 2012 he was arrested and charged with trying to kidnap an 11-year-old. That is a misdemeanor charge, and he is due back in court in September.

"If this was the first time accused I could definitely give it a shadow of the doubt, but it being the second time," said James Humphries. "Kind of odd."

"I have a wife and children, and it is just, concerns me a lot that someone like that could still be running around," he said.

"We don't expect anything to continue with Mr. Jean-Charles release, he is not the person they're looking for," Ballin said.

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