Brooklyn Man Locked Up Nearly a Year for Rape Even Though Victim Recanted Story

April 19, 2012  |  

Darrel Dula is seeing life outside of jail walls for the first time in 10 months although he never should have been locked up in the first place.

In June, Dula and three other men, Damien Crooks and Jawara and Jamali Brockett were accused of assaulting, raping, and sexually trafficking a 22-year-old Jewish Orthodox from the time she was 13. However, the very next day, the woman told police she made up the allegations against Jawara Brockett and Dula and said she was simply a prostitute for five years. Despite that admission, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office sat on that information for nearly a year. The New York Daily News reports that after the interview with the woman, a detective wrote in a police report:

“I once again asked [her] if she was raped. She told me ‘no’ and stated to me, ‘Can’t a ho change her ways?’ ”

The woman signed the recantation, but the case still proceeded and last spring a grand jury voted to indict Dula, Crooks and the two others who were allegedly part of trafficking ring. Dula’s lawyers only learned of the recantation and police interview this week when the documents were turned over by prosecutor Rebecca Gingold, who had replaced Assistant District Attorney Abbie Greenberger on the case after she recently left her job.

On Tuesday, Dula was released although investigators are still reviewing the entire case and will likely interview the accuser again.

“I feel good. Thank God,” Dula told the Daily News. “I’m glad to be home with my family. I’m still in shock. I’m traumatized. It wasn’t a good experience. They took me away on my son’s birthday. It was heartbreaking.

“I just want to make up for lost time,” he said. “I’m just glad to be reunited with my son. I want to get a job and go back to school.”

Unsurprisingly, ADA Greenberger could not be reached for comment by the Daily News or the New York Times.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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