Bond Granted to Man Convicted of Child Molestation Despite Victim's Recantation
A man whose conviction for child molestation was thrown out when it was discovered the victim had recanted one of his accusations was expected to be out of jail by Thursday evening, according to his lawyer.
Attorney Mike Jacobs said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey Jr. granted Jon Thieme a signature bond Thursday morning. Jacobs said a new prosecutor is handling the case, which resulted in the granting of a motion for new trial when the trial prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Demone Lee, admitted that he had allowed a two-count indictment to go before the jury even though he knew the victim had recanted the allegations underlying one of the counts.
Thieme, 23, was convicted on one of two counts of child molestation in March and sentenced to 25 years in jail. After the trial, Jacobs and co-counsel Barry Hazan overheard a juror ask Lee why he had not questioned Thieme or the victim's mother about assertions that the child had been anally sodomized, the basis for one of the counts.
Lee responded that he "didn't push the anal sodomy [count] because the kid said it didn't happen," the lawyers said.
The defense lawyer subsequently filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that Georgia law and legal ethics require that evidence that the key witness had lied was exculpatory information that should have been disclosed to the defense.
Lee admitted to withholding the information, and on Dec. 3 the office of District Attorney Paul Howard signed a consent order agreeing to a new trial.
Jacobs said the prosecutor at Thursday's hearing was ADA Raquel Stokes. He said Thieme's new trial would likely be sometime in March, April or May.
Howard's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story has been changed to reflect this correction: The Dec. 20 Newsreel mistakenly said that Barry Hazen was a co-defendant to a man whose child molestation conviction was tossed. Hazen was co-counsel to the defendant.