BANG BANG BANG! It’s 5AM and I woke up to my front door being busted open. POLICE! COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD! I go numb, what the heck is going on? Why is there a SWAT team in my living room? Guns drawn, riot shields, more officers than I can count… This was the incredible scene I woke up to on Jan 21st 2015. I was supposed to go to my first day of classes at WSU in a few hours to finish my Bachelors – is this all a bad dream?
A few confused hours later I’m shackled to a steel desk in an interrogation room. The detective comes in and tells me in an accusatory tone that I am being charged with rape. My head is spinning. “What?” – “I need to ask you a few questions.” He says rudely. I know not to talk to this guy. “Not without counsel.” I said. He walks out.
On the way to be booked into jail I asked the transporting officer if my accuser is being questioned - after all doesn’t it seem right that someone accusing someone else of such a terrible thing would have to answer some questions? He sort of shook his head and basically told me to hang in there and that most rape allegations are false accusations. I get booked into jail.
When I got my phone call I called my brother and told him I need to find an attorney that can defend against false rape charges. After just a couple calls we were given Jonathon McConnell’s name. Mr. McConnell was referred to as a high powered attorney by multiple people, including some comments from police later. Mr. McConnell previously worked for the Prosecutor’s office so that was a huge plus for us as well.
When I first met Mr. McConnell I instantly liked him. He was the kind of guy you’re proud of having on your side. He was nice to me – not some b.s. fake smile and small talk, but genuinely kind and I felt like he cared. He’s no nice guy though - Jonathon McConnell is a fighter and he likes the fight. And fight he did. This screwed up legal system is not something you can survive without someone who knows the system from the inside and has a reputation of a pit bull. He fought to reduce my ridiculous bond – which the only thing I regret is that I wasn’t in the courtroom to watch him fight for me. When I first spoke to my brother after the first hearing he said,“Man you should have seen it – it was like something out of a movie watching Jon argue against the DA. We definitely have the right guy.” Then it was fight, after fight, after fight, with Mr. McConnell winning each one, frustrating the DA more and more every round.
Another part of my defense that I was surprised about was the unbelievable amount of resources that went into the investigation that Mr. McConnell and his staff conducted. He was able to get documents and records that I don’t think most attorneys would have been able to get. He found another man that was victimized by my accuser under false rape charges. This man was court martialed as the case had taken place on an Air Force base and was acquitted of charges because the accuser’s best friend testified that not only was the accuser lying, but she had also attempted to persuade said friend to lie about being raped as well. Mr. McConnell was able to track down every single one of these individuals, get signed affidavits and testimonies in the preliminary hearing (which most attorneys waive their client’s rights to, but not Mr. McConnell) which ultimately was instrumental to damaging the Prosecutor’s case and leading to dismissal of my case.
I owe my life and my freedom to Mr. McConnell and his amazing staff, especially Lisa who treated me so nicely and worked many late nights and weekends with Mr. McConnell on my case. I 100% believe that I would be in jail or still waiting on my trial if I had any other attorney. In fact, I have been so inspired by Mr. McConnell’s work I have decided to go to law school and follow in his footsteps.