Man’s sex crime conviction vacated because victim unnamed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court has thrown out a man’s sex crime conviction against a young teenager because prosecutors didn’t identify the girl when bringing charges.
The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday vacated David Joe Shuler’s conviction in Swain County last year for statutory rape. Prosecutors had only identified his alleged victim as a girl who was 13, 14, or 15.
The court said victims must be identified to give defendants sufficient notice of the specific crime for which they’re charged, and to protect against the possibility of unconstitutionally putting someone on trial twice for the same offense.
Judges said indictments don’t need to include the victim’s full name, and initials alone might satisfy the requirement.