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BV County attorney drops charges in miscarriage case

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yoirlan Tome-Rojas
Victim fears invasive trial, asks to grieve in private

The Buena Vista County Attorney's Office has dismissed criminal charges against Yoirlan Tome-Rojas, 31, of Storm Lake, who was arrested for conspiracy to commit non-consensual termination of a pregnancy and assault while participating in a felony on Jan. 23. The highly-publicized case arose from an allegation by the former girlfriend of Mr. Tome-Rojas that he had induced a termination of her pregnancy by administering pills to her during a sexual act without her knowledge.

The woman told police that she had become suspicious when she intercepted email messages between Rojas and a person in Tampa, Florida, reportedly soliciting assistance to obtain a drug that could cause a miscarriage. Tome-Rojas, a native of Cuba, with four arrests on his local record since 2009, pled not guilty, and a trial was originally scheduled for April, later delayed until June. A motion to dismiss charges was made by an assistant county attorney shortly before the trial was to begin.

The County Attorney's Office said in a statement this week that it dismissed the case as a result of the repeated requests by the victim that she be allowed the space and time to grieve the tragedy of the loss of her child in private, and outside the invasive spotlight that often results from a public trial.

County Attorney Dave Patton reported that many times his office has gone forward with prosecutions, despite the preference of the victim, but the invasive circumstances of this case made it clear that the interests of justice were best satisfied by avoiding the re-victimization of the victim that would likely result from the defendant's exercise of his rights as a person accused of a serious crime.

In this case the victim provided the county attorney's office with a letter she addressed to the media. In that letter she contended that, "the media took advantage of my ordeal in order to profit from it ... Though my name was never used in the publications, more than enough information and details were printed that made it easy to identify me. I feel that the media, at least in my case, seems to have forgotten that there is a victim in the story that was published."

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