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Sexual battery charges dropped against Fernandez

1:03 PM, Nov 8, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The sexual battery case against Cristian Fernandez has been dropped due to a lack of physical evidence.

That's according to a disposition statement obtained by First Coast News from the State Attorney's Office.

Fernandez, 13, still faces a murder trial. He is accused in the death of his 2-year-old half brother.  That trial is currently scheduled for March 2013 with Judge Mallory Cooper.

According to the disposition statement, some of the details of the alleged abuse described by the victim differed from earlier accounts.  That combined with an order to suppress Fernandez's earlier confession led to the decision to drop the sexual battery case.

"While such difficulties are not uncommon with such young victims, they present challenges in establishing proof at trial," the disposition reads in part.  The disposition goes on to say "there is no physical evidence to support the allegations and the acts occurred outside the presence of any witness."

After weighing the factors together the State Attorney opted against proceeding, saying: "In considering the totality of the circumstances of the sexual battery case, including the Court's suppression of the Defendant's confession and the potential emotional trauma the victim could suffer if required to testify at trial, the State will not proceed to trial."

We'll have more on this story beginning on First Coast News 5 on WJXX-ABC 25 and WTLV-NBC 12.

First Coast News

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