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Family relieved after criminal charges are dropped

When Florida residents read or hear media coverage of an arrest, it is important to remember that as Americans, we are all innocent until proven guilty. Until criminal charges are proven in a court of law, the public should strive to avoid passing a more social form of judgment on those who stand accused. The recent dismissal of charges against one prominent Florida resident presents an excellent example of the dangers of jumping to conclusions too quickly.

The case involves a former President of the Portland Ambulance Corps. The man, now in his early 70s, was accused of stalking and harassing female neighbor. She claims that the harassment was so severe as to limit her ability to leave her home, resulting in the loss of her job.

The matter has dragged on for months as both sides prepared for trial. At one point, the man was offered a plea deal. He refused, stating to the media that he would not admit guilt for something he had not done. The man was ready to go to court to address the matter, when prosecutors for the state dropped the charge against him.

No details have been released as to the cause for the withdrawn charge, but the man’s attorney told reporters that the change was made because the prosecution was not prepared to prove the allegations in court. No matter the reason for the change, the Florida man and his family are relieved to put the matter behind them. Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse the damage to his reputation and public standing that accompanied initial reports of the criminal charges.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live, "Florida drops stalking charge against former Portland Ambulance Corps president", Sarah M. Wojcik, July 28, 2014

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