Friday, May 31, 2013
Robert Contreras spent six months in the Sedgwick County Jail, waiting to go on trial in June to face allegations that he raped and molested a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl.
Thursday, he walked out of jail a free man.
Contreras was overcome with emotion as he left the jail with his wife, family and attorney after being held since November on a $500,000 bond.
"It's indescribable," he said as tears filled his eyes. "My son, my family, my wife."
Contreras, 45, was arrested Nov. 21 and charged with rape and aggravated criminal sodomy after two sisters -- ages 13 and 16 -- accused him of raping them in separate incidents in August and September of last year at his Haysville home.
"I was innocent the whole time and it took us this long to get the DA to open up his eyes and see that this is all baloney," Contreras said.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett issued the following statement:
"Like all cases, the office of the District Attorney has a continuing obligation to review and investigate cases even after charges are filed. Information recently came to light in this matter that required dismissal of the case without prejudice."
Bennett did not elaborate on what that information was, but Contreras' attorney said the case was based entirely on statements made by the two girls.
"In this case, we have a police department in Haysville who not only did no investigation, they did no interviews of any witnesses," defense attorney Sarah Swain said. "They never went to the crime scene."
Haysville Police Chief Jeff Whitfield stood by the department's investigation.
"I believe it was a thorough investigation," Whitfield said. "And since we took the charges to the DA's office and they felt that the case was solid enough that they went ahead and filed charges."
Whitfield said detectives interviewed other potential witnesses in the case, but he did not know whether investigators examined Contreras' house.
"I honestly don't have the information as far whether they went to the house there or not," he said.
Contreras said he is just glad to have this episode behind him.
"We're going to lose our house, we'll have to file for bankruptcy," he said. "I've lost everything else of worldly possession, but, you know, I have my beautiful wife here, have my son, my family. I'm glad it's over."
Because the charges were dropped without prejudice, they can be filed again. Whitfield said the Haysville Police Department has not yet closed the case.