Sex charges against Pisek man dismissed after witness told child to accuse him, lawyer says
GRAFTON, N.D.--Charges have been dropped against a Pisek, N.D., man who was accused of sexually abusing a young child after the prosecution discovered a key witness may have convinced the child to make the accusations.
GRAFTON, N.D.-Charges have been dropped against a Pisek, N.D., man who was accused of sexually abusing a young child after the prosecution discovered a key witness may have convinced the child to make the accusations.
Floyd William Sirman, 71, had been charged last August in Walsh County District Court with continuous sexual abuse of a child, a Class AA felony that carries a life sentence, as well as terrorizing and reckless endangerment, both Class C felonies, but those charges were dismissed Thursday with prejudice, meaning prosecutors can not file another case against him on the same claims.
Prosecutors accused Sirman after a girl younger than 6 years old at the time of the alleged incidents said he sexually assaulted her multiple times from 2008 through 2012, according to court documents. She also alleged Sirman had threatened to kill her family if she told anyone about the abuse, at one point allegedly pointing a BB gun at her head, according to court documents.
But evidence from Minnesota prosecutors created "serious credibility issues regarding certain key witnesses" in which prosecutors in Sirman's case would have relied, according to the prosecution's motion to dismiss.
Sirman's defense attorney, Tim Lamb, said his theory was that a witness that had been criminally convicted in Minnesota "was forcing the kid into saying these things against" Sirman.
The prosecution was made aware of the evidence July 29, Walsh County State's Attorney Barbara Whelan wrote in the motion to dismiss.
The prosecution said they doubt jurors would be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt based on the new information.