Carpitcher case goes before Virginia Supreme Court.

Aleck Carpitcher has a shot at being freed from prison. His girlfriend’s nine-year-old daughter didn’t like him, so she accused him of molesting her. Carpitcher was convicted solely on her claim, sentenced to 38 years. Then she recanted, admitting that she’d made up the charge to get him out of the house. But the state’s 21-day-rule meant that it didn’t matter if he was innocent: he had to stay in prison for 38 years. I wrote to Gov. Warner about this three years ago, but heard nothing in response. Here’s hoping the state’s highest court will let Carpitcher go.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

6 replies on “Carpitcher case goes before Virginia Supreme Court.”

  1. The article you are linking to says that the girl was the prosecution’s only witness, which is a bit different from your claim that “Carpitcher was convicted solely on her claim.” You’re saying there was no other evidence?

    Here’s an article where the girl recanted her recantation:

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/xp-18435

    The girl’s mother, who has sided with Carpitcher in the past, said in the article that she was having an argument with her daughter about the case shortly before she recanted. The article quotes the mother as telling her daughter that she was “sick and tired of her lies, that if she didn’t tell the truth about Aleck, she could pack her bags and go to see her father.”

    The girl then recanted – only to admit later that her recantation was a lie told in order to stay with her mother, the state argues.

  2. You’re saying there was no other evidence?

    Unless something has changed since April of 2004, which is when I last read up on this case, yes, that was the sole evidence.

  3. Tough call. Lots of times the “mother” will choose the victimizer boyfriend over their child. Accusation, Recant, then Reaccusation. That’s just bad.

  4. Waldo, you’re so matter of fact with this assertion: “His girlfriend’s nine-year-old daughter didn’t like him, so she accused him of molesting her.” It could just as easily be true that she only recanted her testimony in order to get to stay with her mom, the only so-called parent that she had. If in fact this girl was traumatized and abused by her mother’s boyfriend at age nine, then she would have to be pretty psychologically damaged and there could be all sorts of reasons for her to say and do anything. Reasons that the rest of us might not understand. Now, I’m not trying to say I think the case against this guy is a good one, or that he should have been convicted — probably not — I don’t really know enough to have an opinion either way. But neither do you know enough to assert that her claim of molestation was indeed a false claim. She said she was molested, then she said she wasn’t, then she said she was. Should the guy be set free? Maybe, probably, even if he did do it, because it does sound like there’s not enough (any?) evidence and ideally in this country people are presumed innocent until actually proven guilty. (Or, at least, before W. that was supposed to be what we were aiming for…) But I wish you wouldn’t accuse the then-nine-year-old girl of making this stuff up because she just didn’t like the guy. That’s unnecessary and unfounded.

  5. But I wish you wouldn’t accuse the then-nine-year-old girl of making this stuff up because she just didn’t like the guy. That’s unnecessary and unfounded.

    It’s not my accusation, and it’s certainly not unfounded.

    The Roanoke Times, October 15, 2005:

    When she recanted, the girl explained that she was jealous of the time Carpitcher was spending with her mother so she made up the allegations to get him out of the house.

    For more information, see the Roanoke Times‘ special section “Justice denied? The case of Aleck Carpitcher.”

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