(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — After nearly three weeks in custody at a youth detention center in California, a 17-year-old alleged rape victim was finally released Monday, with the apologies of the presiding judge.
“I am truly sorry for all that you have been through,” a Sacramento County judge told the girl, who was held as a material witness in the case against her alleged rapist, ABC News affiliate KXTV reports.
The teen had previously skipped court dates in which she was expected to testify against the man she said raped her, inciting authorities to serve her with a warrant and keep her in custody to ensure that she would be available to testify in the future.
“The last thing we ever want to do is put a victim or a witness in custody, but when you have serious crimes of violence and a multiple offenses, you have to balance the protection of the community here,” Sacramento County Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher said earlier this month.
The teen was released on the condition that she would be monitored by a GPS system, but her location would be kept confidential.
Locher told ABC News Monday that the teen and her defense attorney had reached an agreement with prosecutors to permit her release. The terms of the agreement were confidential, the attorney said.
Prosecutors were forced to re-file charges against the alleged rapist, Frank William Rackley, after the teen skipped out on a preliminary hearing and the Feb. 28 trial. The new trial has been set for April 23, when the alleged victim is once again expected to testify, Locher said.
Rackley, an ex-convict with a criminal history that dates back to 1992, was previously arrested for rape, though according to court documents, those charges were dropped.
Locher said the teen victim’s testimony was imperative and cited the potential public safety issue if Rackley is let go on the charges.
The teen’s attorney, Lisa Franco, did not return calls for comment. She previously told ABC News affiliate KXTV that the detention of her client was preventing the girl from moving on with her life.
“She needs to be released. It’s the only way she can start moving on, stop being victimized and move on with her life after what’s happened to her,” Franco said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire