Family of 2016 rape victim waiting for justice after court delay
Father says his daughter needs closure after five years of waiting
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County’s growing backlog of court cases is resulting in families advocating for their sixth amendment right to a fair and speedy trial.
According to District Attorney General Amy Weirich, courtrooms in Shelby County will begin back jury trials starting June 7.
Priority is being given to cases that involve more severe crimes or involve party members who have been in custody longer than others.
“Somebody who’s in custody should have priority to get to trial over somebody who has been released on bond,” said Leslie Ballin, a criminal defense attorney of over 40 years.
One of Ballin’s clients has been awaiting his court date for three years.
Former Shelby County Deputy Brian Beck was released on bond in 2018 to await a court date on two counts of felony rape and two counts of sexual battery by authority figure for an alleged crime against a 14-year-old girl in 2016.
The family of the victim is frustrated with how slow the process has been.
“It’s five years,” said the victim’s father, speaking anonymously. “I mean, she needs closure.”
The father says the case has been pushed back time and again over the past three years.
A report date, which is a short hearing that would determine if a trial is necessary and needs to be scheduled, was set for May 18, after being reschedule over 20 times, but was pushed back once again to February 28, 2022.
“I mean, there are damages, you know, major damages and unhappiness,” the father said. “She just needs some closure. She just needs to see movement of the ball, that’s what she needs to see.”
Weirich says, for any case, a pushback of that many months for a report date is unusual, but it could mean a combination of awaiting evidence analysis and the current backlog.
“There’s a whole bunch of factors that go into getting a case ready for trial and in a posture of getting that trial off the ground,” Weirich said.
“We are now dealing with cases that have just been pushed on, pushed on for over a year and not dealt with,” Ballin said.
Ballin believes the February 2022 date is a date he and his client, Beck, will make and that there will be no more push backs.
For the father of the alleged victim, it still isn’t soon enough.
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