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Attorney: Vindictive Divorce Led To False Sex Charges

“The case was very, very weak, there was no forensic evidence and the mother lied to investigators about her past.”
This is a case that is all too common--- the woman makes an allegation the husband has abused a minor child
The longest, most agonizing time in Paul Douglas Holman’s life ended Monday when a judge ordered sex charges against him dismissed. Fourteen months after he was arrested on molestation charges involving his stepdaughter the case against Holman was tossed during a simple hearing that took only a matter of seconds. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Shields asked that charges be dropped and Circuit Judge Brad Mendheim quickly obliged.

Holman’s attorney was confident all along this is how it would end. “This is a case that is all too common--- the woman makes an allegation the husband has abused a minor child,” said John C. White. “The case was very, very weak, there was no forensic evidence and the mother lied to investigators about her past.” Court records show divorce proceedings were filed the very day Paul Holman was arrested.

The criminal case might have been weak but the impact on Holman’s life, according to White, was strong and in no good way. He was arrested August 14, 2012 on charges of Sexual Abuse involving a child under the age of 12. In this case, the child was only three at the time. White said his client had been the only father the young girl had ever known.

Holman, 40, was booked into jail, fingerprints made, and a mug shot taken. He was released on $30,000 bond a few hours later. The fee collected by the bonding company is not a matter of record but 10 percent is common in such cases. That would be $3,000. Then there were other costs including White’s fee.

However, the money was only a minor point of ordeal according to White. “My client was on the front page of the local newspaper, on television news, and social media. There were negative comments made about him and pieces of his reputation were ruined that he’ll never get back.” White said he hopes publicity regarding the outcome will help his client overcome the negatives that were not deserved. “Mr. Holman did not commit this crime—plain and simple” White said.

White commended District Attorney Doug Valeska for his willingness to drop charges. “Often times we hear Valeska is concerned only about prosecuting people but he’s really concerned about justice,” he said.

White, a former Dothan police chief, doesn’t fault criminal investigators saying they had little choice but to bring charges based upon statements made by the girl’s mother. However, he does question whether the way grand jury testimony is presented should be changed.

“The way the grand jury works in Alabama is only the prosecution gets to present evidence,” White said. “I could get a ham sandwich indicted. If I had been able to present our side of the story that would have likely ended this case then and there,” he said.

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