Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kerri Glen of Maui said today that she’s dropping the case against Jose Reyes because his wife is refusing to cooperate. Reyes was scheduled to go to trial on April 4th.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kerry Glen said she expects to file documents Wednesday to drop the case. Reyes’ wife won’t talk to prosecutors or return to Maui, she said.
“The complaining witness, Mr. Reyes’ wife, is what we call an uncooperative witness,” Glen said. “At this point, I have no other avenue for prosecution.”
Reyes was scheduled to go to trial April 4. He pleaded not guilty to abusing a family or household member. David Sereno, his Maui defense attorney, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Such is the extreme difficulty in prosecuting Domestic Violence cases. Victims are often either too scared, or too traumatized to speak out against their tormentors. It’s terribly sad, and unfortunately a problem that has yet to be solved. Cases are incredibly difficult to prosecute without video evidence if the victim refuses to cooperate, and often DA’s are too concerned with maintaining their personal records to take a chance on a case they may lose. Forcing a victim to cooperate will not only backfire, but it’s cruel in that it causes the victim who’s already gone through a terrible ordeal into an even worse situation.
Glen will ask for the case to be dropped without prejudice, meaning she’ll have about two years from the date of the alleged offense to refile charges if Reyes’ wife eventually cooperates.
“For misdemeanor offenses, we cannot force an uncooperative witness to come back,” Glen said.
Reyes was placed on paid leave pending the resolution of the criminal proceedings. Hopefully Rob Manfred picks up where the law failed. You are officially on the clock.