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Ex-Cop's Charges In Rape Dropped

Journal Staff Report
    The New Mexico Attorney General's Office filed paperwork Friday saying it is dropping the sexual assault case against fired Albuquerque police officer Timothy Chavez.
    The notice was filed without prejudice, meaning the case could be refiled.
    Attorney general spokesman Phil Cisneros said a nolle prosequi was filed because "we didn't feel it would serve the public to proceed."
    "It's a good day for Tim. He can put this to rest," said Mary Han, who with co-counsel Paul Kennedy defended Chavez at trial this month. The trial ended Aug. 14 with a hung jury that voted 11-1 for acquittal on all but one count. It voted 10-2 for acquittal on that count.
    "They spent vast amounts of money prosecuting a case I think they didn't analyze carefully. They put that man through all kinds of hell, when there perhaps were other remedies they could have sought and didn't even try," Han said.
    Chavez, then a 33-year-old decorated vice cop, was arrested on the rape charges in May 2005. The girl told police she had been raped after meeting a man on Live Links, an adult telephone dating service.
    The girl admitted during testimony that she had lied about her age to Chavez and other men to get onto the service.
    Chavez said that the sex was consensual and that he thought the girl was 18.
    The girl, Marissa Mason, and her mother have filed a civil lawsuit against Chavez and Albuquerque. The city is defending that lawsuit.