The case against an Eau Claire woman accused of letting men sexually assault two children in exchange for drugs and money has been dropped.
In Eau Claire County Court the case against Michelle Mayer, 40, was dismissed.
“The state has moved to dismiss this case in its entirety. I’ve granted that request so the case is dismissed,” said Judge Michael Schumacher.
Before the trial was set begin on Tuesday morning the alleged victim admitted to using marijuana the night before. The defense questioned if she was sober enough to proceed but the judge ruled the alleged victim was competent enough to testify.
When the alleged victim took the stand she only answered a few questions before asking to take a break.
The alleged victim then didn’t return to the courtroom, at which point the state made the motion to dismiss the trial without prejudice, meaning the charges can’t be brought forth again.
Assistant district attorney Crystal Jensen said, “Given the fact that if we’re doing more harm to her than good by forcing her to proceed then I don’t know what we’re accomplishing. It’s been one of the more difficult decisions I’ve made as a prosecutor.”
During opening statements on Monday the state said it would rely heavily on the victim’s testimony since there was no evidence of sexual or physical abuse. Despite the outcome the state says it still believes abuse occurred.
“What she reported happened to her,” said Jensen. “There’s a room full of people that believe her as well for what that’s worth.”
The defense agreed to the case dismissal, all charges were dropped and Mayer has been released from all bond conditions.
Defense attorney Matthew Krische said, “I think it’s a bit of shock, tears, joy that she can be reunited with the rest of her family and friends. Joy that she can get out of custody now.”
Krische says the outcome wasn’t necessarily expected but that it is a great relief to Mayer.
He added, “I think healing can start now I think this is the right decision to move forward for both of them.”
The trial began on Monday and was set to last five days.
Opening statements were heard Monday afternoon in the trial of an Eau Claire woman accused of allowing men to sexually assault two children in exchange for money and drugs.
Michelle Mayer, 40, is facing six counts including repeated sexual assault of a child and physical abuse of a child.
During opening statements Eau Claire assistant district attorney Kelly Mandelstein said the case has difficulties since the alleged victims didn’t report the crimes right away and because there’s no physical evidence including DNA or photographs.
“There’s not going to be physical evidence. I’m not going to be able to put an analyst on the stand and talk about DNA. We weren’t able to recover any photographs,” said Mandelstein.
The state told the jury it’s going to be relying heavily on victim testimony to prove that Mayer played a part in physically and sexually abusing the children.
“Men would come into the home and give Michelle the cash or drugs and would either have sexual intercourse with one of the children,” said Mandelstein. “If the children didn’t comply they’d be subject to violence.”
The defense says without physical evidence it proves Mayer is innocent saying the accusations are a result of two resentful children.
Defense attorney Matthew Krische said, “There were feelings of abandonment. You’ll hear that they did not like this person who had been absent for so long to suddenly come in try and try to be a parent.”
The defense argued that if Mayer was guilty there would be evidence including medical reports from sexual abuse injuries as well as signs of drug abuse like withdrawal symptoms, illnesses and needle marks.
Krische questioned the jury saying, “Will you hear about injury? Will you hear about pain or illness? Will you hear about any infection? No you won’t. There won’t be any of that evidence.”
The defense also says social workers were often in the home and despite being mandatory reporters, evidence of drug, physical or sexual abuse in the form of reports were never made.
“You’re going to be told by a social worker that no such mandated reports have been made regarding this methamphetamine use, regarding these allegations of sexual assault,” added Krische.
Only one of the two alleged victims is set to take the stand. The trial is expected to last five days.