BECKLEY, W.Va. — Charges against one of two men charged for an August 13 rape near a popular Beckley walking trail have been dismissed.
According to the Raleigh County Prosecutor’s Office, a Thursday preliminary hearing was scheduled for Timothy Harris, 46. The victim did not appear after multiple attempts by law enforcement to contact her.
A motion by the defense to dismiss the case was granted by the magistrate. Harris could still be charged with the crime should the victim come forward.
Michael Ritter, 50 of Beaver, is still charged with first degree sexual assault and conspiracy. He is scheduled for a separate preliminary hearing.
According to a complaint filed by Beckley Police Cpl. T.M. Capehart during the initial investigation, officers were dispatched to East Main Street for a sexual assault complaint. Upon arrival, they found the victim, who appeared distressed and had torn clothes.
The woman told Capehart she had left a convenience store on Robert C. Byrd Drive when two men appeared from the Beckley Rails to Trails. The victim alleges Timothy Harris, 46 of Beckley, shoved her with a firearm before Michael Ritter, 50, pushed her into a wooded area.
“She stated that both suspects took turns sexually assaulting her over and over again against her will over the course of time, estimated to be a few hours,” the complaint reads. “She stated they were calling her names during the assault and told her all women deserve this and that all females bring this (rape) upon themselves.”
Harris and Ritter remain at the Southern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond each.