MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The case against Ibrahim Hamid, accused of sexually assaulting a woman after he gave her a ride home, will not go to trial for a third time.
“This is not a win for the defendant,” Monongalia County Prosecutor Perri DeChristopher wrote. “It is a loss for us all.”
The 4-page notice of the State’s intention, written by DeChristopher, lays out the reasons the State requested dismissal. Judge Russell Clawges signed an order dismissing the case March 18.
“Mr. Hamid is pleased that the State no longer desires to pursue this matter, as he has maintained his innocence from the beginning.” Defense Attorney Lance Rollo said. “Mr. Hamid intends to put this matter behind him and move on with his life as best he can. It speaks volumes that the State presented all of the evidence to two separate juries, and both juries refused to convict Mr. Hamid.”
Hamid was prosecuted twice following his January 2018 indictment by the Monongalia County grand jury. Juries in both the June and September trials were unable to unanimously decide on a verdict — resulting in mistrials.
Hamid was accused of raping a woman in the early morning hours of April 28, 2017. He maintained he drove her home and the two had sex in the van he was using as an Uber driver, though he did not pick her up for an Uber ride. During both trials, Hamid said the sex was consensual. The alleged victim testified it was not and that she fought back and said no.
“The premise upon which all decisions in this case are made is that the defendant did, in fact, sexually assault [the alleged victim],” DeChristopher wrote.
The Dominion Post does not typically name the victims of sexual crimes or alleged sexual crimes.
Hamid’s alleged victim testified in both trials. DeChristopher compared a sexual assault victim testifying before a jury to filling their pockets with rocks representing the different facts of the case, and then wading into deep water (the trial).
While the State believes there is evidence to support a conviction of second-degree sexual assault, which Hamid was charged with, it ultimately decided not to pursue a third trial because of certain stereotypes of alleged sexual assault victims that can be argued by an attorney.
In essence, a juror might not say he or she has these beliefs, but once an attorney speaks them, they enter the consciousness of the juror. Examples include an alleged victim who fought back should have injuries, or action taken by an alleged victim is perceived as “counterintuitive” to how a “real” victim would behave.
It’s impossible to determine if a juror holds those beliefs, and their inclusion on a jury is inevitable, the notice said.
“The rocks that [the alleged victim] must carry are just too large, and the water is just too deep,” DeChristopher wrote.
Story by William Dean, Dominion Post