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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alleged Child Rapist Goes Free Because Court Can't Find Interpreter

Sunday, July 22, 2007
FOX NEWS

ROCKVILLE, Md. —
Charges against a man accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a 7-year-old girl were dismissed last week because the court could not find an interpreter fluent in the suspect's native West African language.

Mahamu Kanneh, a Liberian native who received asylum in this country and attended high school and community college here, according to The Washington Post, was denied a speedy trial after three years awaiting a court-appointed interpreter who could speak the tribal language of Vai.


Click here to read The Washington Post article.

A court-ordered psychiatrist determined that Kanneh, despite his functional facility with English — he originally spoke with detectives in English, The Post reports, needed to have Vai spoken in order to understand the proceedings against him.

Loretta Knight, a clerk with the court system in Montgomery County, Md., said she had been unable to find an interpreter to stay on the case, even after an exhaustive search that included the Liberian Embassy and courts in 47 states.

Judge Katherine Savage called her decision to dismiss the charges one of the most difficult she's had to make in a long time, especially since she was aware of "the gravity of this case and the community's concern about offenses of this type."

Prosecutors can't refile the charges but are considering whether to appeal the judge's ruling for the dismissal.

FOX News spoke with a man who claimed to be Kanneh in a five-minute phone conversation on Sunday in English. He said the allegations against him were false and the dismissal of the charges was "a good thing." Asked if the accusations were true, he responded, "I said what I had to say" and hung up.

The Washington Post wrote in its article that in just one night reporters were independently able to identify three Vai translators available to assist in the case. It noted that the need for interpreters has risen starkly in Montgomery County, Md., with the court system spending $1 million in interpreters in 2006, or 10 times the amount it spent in 2000.

According to witnesses who originally reported the case to authorities, Kanneh allegedly repeatedly raped and sexually molested the girl, a relative. In a statement made by the girl to police, she said she had been told she'd be forced to stay in the apartment unless she had sex with Kanneh.


FOX News' James Rosen and Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.

This is a strong indictment of, both, our judicial and educational systems. as well as showing where we are headed with out of control political correctness.

This person has a perpetual, ‘get out of jail’ card.

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