Text of Letter from alleged victims in Chris Jones case - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Text of Letter from alleged victims in Chris Jones case

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SUBJECT LINE - NEWS ADVISORY: Victims' attorneys express concern over prosecution's mishandling of Chris Jones rape case

As counsel representing the two victims in the Commonwealth vs. Chris Jones, et. al. case, we have serious concerns about how the case is being handled by the Commonwealth's Attorney's office.

While we appreciate the complexities of prosecuting a high-profile case such as this, comments by both defense counsel and the Commonwealth's Attorney's office require a response.

We have expressed our concerns about these statements to the Commonwealth's Attorney. Among the statements is the response of the Commonwealth's Attorney's spokesperson to our concern over the Commonwealth's Attorney's failure to honor the Kentucky crime victims' Bill of Rights. We also expressed concern over the apparent departure from typical procedures in sexual assault cases. We are also concerned about the refusal of the Commonwealth Attorney to respect our clients' decision to have counsel.

An agreement to release the defendants from home incarceration was made on March 9, 2015. Our clients were not consulted about this agreement, which violates the Kentucky Crime Victims Bill of Rights. The defendants were released March 30, 2015. No attempt was made to inform our clients of this prior to the release, much less prior to the March 9 agreement to release the defendants.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's agreement to release these men signals to the public that these defendants do not pose a public threat. An agreement like this is highly unusual in a rape case.

On March 9, 2015 Jones' attorney, Scott Cox stated that all those present in the apartment that night would testify before the grand jury on April 27-8. We question how Mr. Cox was privy to this information at such an early date, before the relevant grand jury had even been empaneled.

In addition, we have been informed that the defendants will be permitted to offer recorded testimony for the grand jury to consider. If this is true, it would constitute a radical deviation from well settled Kentucky practice. Such an accommodation to the defense by the Commonwealth's Attorney would appear to allow the defendants to contradict the victims without being subject to questioning from the grand jury.

We have also expressed concern to the Commonwealth's Attorney about the prosecutor Ryane Conroy's asking our clients questions which intruded upon the attorney client privilege out of our presence. Ms. Conroy questioned our clients about privileged matters without advising these young victims of their privilege at a meeting from which we were excluded.

The victims in this case had the courage to report the rape to the police and are relying upon the Commonwealth's Attorney's office to seek justice. We as counsel, along with the victims and their family members, are concerned that their experience, as it has unfolded, may discourage other victims of rape from coming forward and reporting.

We requested the opportunity to meet with Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine to express our concerns and ask him to explain the foregoing. He has repeatedly refused that request. As County Attorney Mike O'Connell stated publicly the evidence in this case is “ample, compelling and credible.” We want this case handled in the same manner that sexual assault cases have been handled in this city for decades. We decry any special procedures and accommodations that Mr. Wine has extended to the defense in this case.

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