Florida Rape Charges Against Probation Officer Dropped

There was little doubt that the probation officer had sex with his charge. The video evidence provided by the alleged victim was pretty straightforward proof of that. speechbubblesoversmartphone

But was it rape?

Zachary Thomas Bailey, 52, was arrested on two counts of sexual battery by coercion back in March 2015. But this month, just days before he was slated to go on trial for rape, prosecutors dropped the charges.

The cell phone video was provided to police in Coral Springs when she accused Bailey of rape. But when prosecutors watched the video, it revealed the unclothed woman directing Bailey on how to sexually favor her. State prosecutors announced in court they would not be pursuing the charges, and although they did not specify the reasoning, a memo from the state attorney’s office indicated the video evidence contradicted the rape claim made by the accuser. On top of that, prosecutors noted in the memo that the accuser’s extensive criminal history and potential immigration issues may have made it very tough to garner a conviction. Specifically, they serve to substantiate the defense theory that plaintiff had an ulterior motive in falsely accusing Bailey. 

Bailey’s criminal defense attorney would later say that while the sexual contact with the woman on probation, who is in her 40s and from Jamaica, clearly show a lack of judgment, but not forcible sexual assault. He accused the alleged victim of using this claim as a means to stay in the U.S., rather than being forced to return to her home in the Caribbean.

Despite the fact Bailey had a stellar employment record with The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) prior to his arrest, he was abruptly fired from his job when the allegations came to light.

According to F.S. 794.011, sexual battery by coercion occurs when a person sexual batters another by coercing the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury to the victim and the victim reasonably believes the offender has the present ability to execute that threat OR offender threatens to retaliate against the victim or anoher person and victim reasonably believes offender has the ability to execute that threat in the future.

The accuser had previously served more than two years in state prison for defrauding an elderly woman in her 90s of more than $350,000 and also for trafficking in oxycodone.

When she was released, she was assigned to Bailey as a probation officer.

The parolee later went to police and produced a used condom and photos and video clips of Bailey naked and putting on the condom. She told officers in a sworn statement that Bailey came to her home, would not let her leave her bedroom and sexually touched her. During another visit, she said he followed her to her room, asked for a massage and when she declined, forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her. She reportedly told him, “This is rape.”

Criminal defense attorneys recognize that while photographic and video evidence can be compelling in a criminal case, it can also sometimes work in a defendant’s favor when defense attorneys are diligent in conducting their investigation.

Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

Rape Charges Dropped Against Probation Officer Who Had Sex With Client, June 9, 2016, By Tonya Alanez and Rafael Olmeda, Sun Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

Miami Woman Kills Teen Burglar, Charges Mulled, May 31, 2016, Fort Lauderdale Rape Defense Attorney Blog