LITIGATION COMMENTARY & REVIEW: California Fellow Susan Yu Has Judge Dismiss Felony Sexual Assault Charges Against Car Racer
Litigation Commentary & Review (June/July 2010)
For 3 years, the Ventura County California District Attorney’s Office remained steadfast about prosecuting a 34-year-old sprint car racer, Ronnie Case. Mr. Case was charged with 5 felony counts of sexual assault on a minor, including alleged forcible rape, sodomy by use of force, unlawful sexual intercourse, oral copulation, and 1 misdemeanor count of sexual battery.
Mr. Case pleaded not guilty to all counts in early 2007.
By all accounts, this case was a nightmare for Mr. Case. According to court records, in 2006, a 16-year old teenage girl, who had “followed” Mr. Case around during various racing events, claimed that Mr. Case raped her at his house when she turned 17.
On April 13, 2010, the day before the trial was to commence, Mr. Case’s lead attorney, Susan Yu of Mesereau & Yu, LLP in Los Angeles, received surprising news from the lead Prosecutor Thomas Dunlevy that his office would dismiss the case. The next day, on the Prosecution’s Motion, the presiding judge, Judge Bruce Young, dismissed the action in its entirety.
According to a local newspaper reporter, Raul Hernandez of the Ventura County Star, the Prosecution’s decision to dismiss was based on recent information it obtained through discovery. Prosecutor Dunlevy told Mr. Hernandez that, “based on this recent information,” the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office felt that it could not prove the case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
Susan Yu stated that she was very pleased with the result. She declined further comment.