A Haysville man is free after rape and molestation charges against him were dropped.
Robert Contreras had been in jail since November on a $500,000 bond, charged with the rape and aggravated sodomy of two sisters, ages 13 and 16. The girls accused him of raping them in separate incidents last year.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a statement that new evidence prompted the dismissal of charges.
“Like all cases, the office of the District Attorney has a continuing obligation to review and investigate cases even after charges are filed. Information recently came to light in this matter that required dismissal of the case without prejudice,” he said.
Defense attorney Sarah Swain put the blame on the Haysville Police Department, saying they did not go to the crime scene or interview any witnesses.
Police chief Jeff Whitfield defended his department’s investigation. He pointed out the DA’s office felt there was enough evidence to file charges.
Swain told the Wichita Eagle that the key piece of evidence was a claim that Contreras watched the movie “Magic Mike” with each of the girls before the alleged crimes, which were reported to have happened in August and September.
“A simple Google search will show that it wasn’t released on DVD until Oct. 23, 2012,” Swain told the Eagle.
The trial had been scheduled to start on June 10. Contreras had faced a potential life sentence under Jessica’s Law.
The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means they could be re-filed. The case remains open with the Haysville Police Department.