MANATEE — A woman raped in a Palmetto, Florida, orange grove almost 19 years ago told prosecutors recently that she did not wish to go through another trial during which she would have to relive the crime.
The victim’s wishes contributed to the prosecutors’ decision not to pursue a retrial of Derrick Williams, who served 18 years of a life sentence after he was convicted in 1993 of the rape but won a new trial on March 28 because of new DNA tests on evidence, said Lon Scott Arend, deputy chief assistant state attorney.
Williams was released from prison Monday in an emotional scene that thrilled his family.
“In meeting with the victim, we determined that it wasn’t in her best interest to go forward,” Arend said Tuesday morning.
Although the victim did not want Arend to share her most of her views and feelings about Williams’ release from prison, she did offer one opinion that she did not mind being made public, Arend said.
“She said that she is still adamant that Derrick Williams is the man who raped her,” Arend said. “She identified him in multiple photo arrays and in a live line-up and in a trial.”
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