DA won't charge woman for lying about alleged kidnapping

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Joshua Brown and his wife, Sheri, addressed the media in Lewiston on Thursday, calling on authorities to press charges against the woman who accused him of kidnapping her in May. The District Attorney’s Office dropped kidnapping and sexual assault charges against the Rumford man on Tuesday. Later in the day, the District Attorney’s Office released a statement saying it would not press charges against the woman. 

LEWISTON — Joshua Brown of Rumford held a news conference in Kennedy Park on Thursday to say he wants police to pursue charges against the woman who falsely accused him of kidnapping her last May.

Prosecutors say that isn’t going to happen.

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On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis dismissed kidnapping and unlawful sexual contact charges against Brown after the woman who had accused him admitted she lied about her allegation that he forced her into his car.

Brown and his wife, Sheri, said the ordeal cost them thousands of dollars and months of ridicule.

The woman originally told police Brown offered her a ride around 4 a.m. on May 24 on Lisbon Street as she walked to work. She said she declined and when he offered her a ride a second time a few blocks away, he physically forced her into the car and forced her to have sexual contact in the vehicle.

Surveillance video footage showed that Brown drove by the woman as she walked down Lisbon Street, stopping twice to talk to her, but he never left the vehicle.

“The DA didn’t want anything to do with getting them videos at first, but my lawyers pushed and pushed,” Brown said Thursday. “Everything that showed in them videos is what I said from day one. Everything that happened she was willing to go along with. She got in my car, by herself, everything.”

He said he now wants to see authorities pursue the woman for lying to a grand jury.

“I’m going to press it and press it until I can’t any more and get her charged,” he said. “Some way, some how, she’s got to pay legally for what she did.”

Brown lost his job of 15 years three days after his arrest because of the charges, he said.

Brown told police in May he was in downtown Lewiston at 4 a.m. on May 24 because he was early for work at his job in Portland.

When asked Thursday, Brown declined to describe, in his words, what did happen that morning.

“I don’t want to go into great details about things because I don’t know exactly what’s going to end up happening, so I would rather not answer that,” he said. “All I can say is I wish her the best of luck because it ain’t over.”

Matulis said in a written statement released Thursday that his office won’t be pursuing criminal charges against the woman.

“The role of the prosecutor is to ensure that justice is done for all of the people of the state of Maine. This role, of course, encompasses ensuring justice for victims and defendants,” he wrote.

“My conclusion that the state could not prove the charges against Mr. Brown beyond a reasonable doubt led to an immediate dismissal of his charges because it was the only just course of action. My decision to foreclose consideration of charges against the alleged victim is similarly based on what I know of the evidence in Mr. Brown’s case and my conversations with the alleged victim,” he wrote.

He said there’s more to the story than can be made public.

“While I understand it can be frustrating for the public to not know everything that the police and prosecutors know, state law and ethics rules prevent a frank and open public discussion of the facts in anyone’s case, with limited exceptions, so I am not free to publicly disclose everything that I have considered in coming to this conclusion. I can only end by assuring (Sun Journal) readers that in as much as it would be wrong to continue a prosecution against Mr. Brown, with the information we possess it would be equally unjust to charge the alleged victim.”

kskelton@sunjournal.com

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