KELSO, WA – Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur will not be filing perjury charges against Cassandra Kennedy. Ms. Kennedy recently claimed she lied in 2001 as an eleven-year-old victim when she testified against her father, Thomas Kennedy in a jury trial. The jury convicted Mr. Kennedy of three counts of Rape of a Child in the First Degree. Her recantation was found to be enough to warrant an order for a new trial, but was not determined to be the truth.
There is a misconception that Mr. Kennedy would not have been released unless he was found innocent. This is untrue. He has never been found innocent of the crimes of Rape of a Child.
In 2001, Mr. Kennedy was convicted of Rape of a Child in the First Degree based on Ms. Kennedy’s testimony, medical evidence, and the testimony of other witnesses. In March 2012, Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning overturned the conviction of Mr. Kennedy based only on Ms. Kennedy now claiming that she lied at the first trial. The judge did not make a finding that Ms. Kennedy was telling the truth then or now, but ruled that Mr. Kennedy was entitled to a new trial because of this new information. After reviewing what evidence is left to prove the original charges, including Ms. Kennedy’s new claim, Prosecutor Baur determined that eleven years later the Rape of a Child charge could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a second trial.
“We will not be filing charges against Ms. Kennedy for the same reason we will not be re-filing charges against Mr. Kennedy. I understand and share the frustration people have with Ms. Kennedy. I cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt if she is lying now or if she lied in 2001. If a prosecutor is not firmly convinced of the truth of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt, they have an ethical duty not to file that charge.