Judge dismisses 44 charges, including rape, against former Tennessee deputy

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A judge dismissed a 44-court indictment on Friday against a former Tennessee sheriff’s deputy that included charges of rape, sexual battery, oppression and extortion.

The move by Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman came after a prosecutor said he “sees no avenue of prosecution” in the case against former Hamilton County deputy Daniel Wilkey, news outlets reported.

“Justice demands this case be dismissed,” Steelman said.

Special prosecutor Kevin Allen filed a motion to dismiss the case because he said former Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston failed to provide him with case files and other investigative avenues including a review of civil litigation did not support prosecution.

Multiple lawsuits had accused Wilkey of misconduct during traffic stops, including an illegal drug search, a forced baptism and groping girls.

Wilkey’s attorney, Benjamin McGowan, released a statement that said his family is grateful for the thorough investigation.

“His findings, through painstaking analysis of the evidence, corroborate what we have maintained since the beginning: that the former district attorney’s criminal charges against Mr. Wilkey were factually unfounded and should never have been filed,” the statement said.

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