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State Concludes De Anza Investigation
SAN FRANCISCO--After a thorough investigation that included reviewing prior investigations conducted by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s Offices and conducting its own independent investigation, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced today that it found insufficient evidence to support the filing of criminal charges in connection with the alleged assault of a 17-year-old-girl (“Jane Doe”) at a March 2007 De Anza College house party.
The DOJ began its review of the case at the request of Santa Clara District Attorney Dolores Carr following that office’s determination that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges in connection with the alleged assault at the De Anza party. The DOJ reviewed hundreds of pages of reports and grand jury testimony and scores of audio and video taped interviews that contained the testimony and statements from over 30 witnesses who attended the party, including the men in the room where the alleged assault occurred. The DOJ independently interviewed over 20 witnesses, including Jane Doe and the young women who removed her from the party. The DOJ also obtained and analyzed physical evidence not previously sought, including cell phones and computers.
Although the behavior alleged in the case was reprehensible, the DOJ investigation revealed significant evidentiary problems that made impossible the establishment of a crime or the identification of a perpetrator. Notably, the extreme level of alcohol consumption appears to have clouded the memories of many of the people at the party. Jane Doe has no memory of anything that happened at the party beyond her initial arrival. The men who allegedly engaged in assaultive behavior give inconsistent accounts of the events and do not believe that a sexual assault occurred. In addition, the responsible young women who removed Jane Doe from the party witnessed the events only briefly and from a limited vantage point and, as a result, were unable to provide consistent, useful identifications necessary to pursue criminal charges.
In sum, there are such wildly conflicting accounts of the evening that it is impossible to determine what actually happened, when it happened, and who was involved. Based on this record, the DOJ concluded that there is insufficient admissible evidence to support the criminal prosecution of any suspect.
The DOJ’s response to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s request is attached.