District Attorney Steve Cooley Rejects Adelman Rape Case
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley Office will not file rape or other charges against ousted city bureaucrat Andrew Adelman, who was at the center of an ugly scandal after a woman accused him of repeatedly raping her with sex objects after she met him for the first time at a City Hall-organized pub crawl in July.
In a report sent to the LA Weekly, the DA's office concluded that it "could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that the GM of the city's Department of Building and Safety Department, who was forced to resign, had sexually assaulted the woman with invasive sex toys.
The meaning of the decision -- released by Cooley's office on Friday afternoon, just before the slowed-down weekend news cycle, a favored time to unveil potentially unpopular decisions -- was clear:
Lacking any witnesses or physical evidence, the D.A. could not corroborate the victim's allegations that she had been drugged and assaulted in a lurid setting in Adelman's bedroom, where she said she awoke in a stupor to see a porn flick playing on a huge TV, and Adelman nude beside her, raping her with objects.
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According to the two-page report, an apparent oversight by her health care provider may have prevented crucial evidence from being gathered from the woman's own body when she sought help.
Two days after the assault, she sought a drug test from her unidentified medical provider, suspecting that Adelman had drugged her. But the lab tested her urine only for opiates, stimulants or barbiturates, which came up negative -- it did not test her for the common date-rape drugs rolyphnol, ketamine or GHB.
"Without some corroboration to support the allegations that the victim was drugged, this office cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual assault occurred," says the D.A.'s "Charge Evaluation Worksheet."
The report also says police interviewed the victim's girlfriend, who said she had a conversation with her friend the night of the alleged drugging, and the victim "has no memory of it."
The police checked out images from surveillance cameras where the alleged incident took place -- but the video was poor quality and showed "the victim walking without assistance."
"The police were unable to locate images from cameras in many other locations along the route the couple took," it read.
The police also attempted to get Adelman, who was forced to resign from his $250,000-plus a year job by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last month, to admit to the drugging through several phone calls initiated by the victim. In those phone calls, Adelman acknowledges "sexual acts took place, but did not admit to drugging her," according to the D.A. report.
Cooley and his office concluded that Adelman did not make any incriminating admissions, and no witness observed any behavior consistent with a drugging or sexual assault -- thus it cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was drugged and raped.
Los Angeles Police Department detectives presented their case to the District Attorney's Office on September 17 for review. Adelman, 52, was hired as the general manager of the Department of Building Safety Department in 1997.
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