FROM:Dolores Carr, District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON: Nick Muyo, Public Information Officer 408-792-2826   Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer 408-792-2997   For release on May 2, 2008   DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S STATEMENT REGARDING ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DECISION ON DE ANZA CASE   I have received a letter from the Attorney General declining to take further action in the DeAnza matter.  I am deeply grateful to the Attorney General and his staff for reviewing this difficult case.    The job of the District Attorney is to file criminal charges when we can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an individual is guilty of a crime.  We are all appalled by the behavior at the party that night.  However, the District Attorney must set aside emotion when evaluating whether to file criminal charges, and rely solely on the strength of the available evidence against each person accused.    As I have stated previously, parties where young people become intoxicated pose particular problems in sexual assault cases.  The credibility and memories of witnesses are easier to attack.  In our case, for example, the victim does not remember anything that happened to her that night after arriving at the party.  Having many witnesses is not always an advantage if their recollections differ.  And intoxicated people behave in ways that they ordinarily would not.  This Office declined to file charges only after a careful and exhaustive assessment of all available, relevant, and reliable evidence.    My decision was controversial.  After observing that a significant portion of our community was concerned that criminal charges were not filed, I initiated the rare step of seeking an independent review of my decision by the Attorney General’s Office.    After a thorough and careful review of the reports, statements and evidence, including additional interviews with witnesses, the Office of the Attorney General has affirmed that our Office handled this matter properly.  Equally important, the Attorney General has reached the same conclusion on the merits:  this case cannot be prosecuted successfully.    Although the Attorney General has confirmed this Office's judgment in this matter, nobody should be satisfied with the outcome.  As a former leader of this Office's sexual assault unit, a former judge, and as a mother, my heart goes out to this young woman when I think about what happened to her that night. As your District Attorney, I am frustrated that this Office cannot bring this matter to criminal court.    But nobody benefits when the District Attorney files charges which cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Public confidence in the judicial system depends upon prosecutors making objective decisions.  Furthermore, a failed prosecution makes it less likely that other victims will report sexual assaults.   In any event, this matter is not over.  The young woman in this case has chosen to seek redress in the civil courts from the men in that room for what happened to her that night.   Bringing that lawsuit is her decision, and only time will tell whether it was the right one for her.  Judges and juries in the civil arena, where the standard of proof is lower than in the criminal courts, will decide whether she should be compensated for what happened to her, and if so, by whom.    Continuing to discuss this case could interfere with that process, and therefore I believe it would be inappropriate for this Office to comment further.  Given the Attorney General’s decision today, we consider the criminal case closed at this time.   This Office will continue to be accountable to the public for its decisions.   ###

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