D.A. Explains Decision To Dismiss Case Involving El Paso Police Officer
POSTED: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 7:25pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 3:20am
EL PASO - The District Attorney is giving us more details on his decision to drop a sexual assault case against an El Paso Police Officer.
A woman claims Officer Mark Munoz sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious, but now the case has been dismissed.
"This dismissal concludes the case," District Attorney Jaime Esparza said.
Munoz is off the hook for allegedly sexually assaulting the woman in November of 2009. District Attorney Esparza says there just isn't enough evidence.
"We questioned more witnesses than the El Paso Police Department, we look at the scientific evidence, we look at the testimonial evidence, we also examine what the victim says. So, we have to mesh all of that together," he said.
Esparza tells us there is no DNA evidence and it's a "he said, she said" case. Although, we pointed out a Grand Jury felt there was enough evidence to indict Munoz.
"The Grand Jury indictment, as many people who have served jury duty will understand, is not evidence of guilt. It just allows the state to proceed," he said.
Esparza claims his office did all it could, but he says they just felt a jury couldn't make a fair decision. So why not let them? Is it a matter of potentially losing the case in court?
"It's not a question of whether or not we could win it. We take cases where there are issues of whether or not a jury can believe one witness or another," he said.
Esparza says in the end there was just too many inconsistencies to take the woman's claims to court.
"We would proceed if we could. We just can't, and there are too many hurdles to get over," he said.
Esparza says he's informed the alleged victim about his decision, and, as you can imagine, she was not happy.
As we've reported, Officer Mark Munoz is still working for the El Paso Police Department.