13-Year-Long Rape Case Dismissed In Osage County
OSAGE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A rape case that started 13 years ago is finally over.
The woman says the legal system let her down and she walked away with no justice, but the man accused says justice is exactly what happened in this case after the DA dismissed the rape charge.
The woman says she went to a bar in 2006, then remembers only parts of what happened until she woke up the next day in her home, realizing something had gone wrong.
She called the police, had a rape exam and the DNA was put into the database. Ten years later, police got a hit on that DNA after a man was arrested for a different crime. After the DNA test was confirmed, police arrested Alex Agbonze.
We’re protecting the woman’s identity and calling her “Jo.” She firmly believes she was drugged and raped. She says the man who attacked her stole her car afterward. A decade later, when the DNA match came in, she believed justice was finally on its way.
Jo says, "I didn't know this person from Adam. I'm confident we have the right person, it is him. I know what happened."
The case went to trial last fall but because one of the witnesses inadvertently spoke to jurors, it ended in a mistrial.
The new DA in Osage County says it would be hard to prove who drugged Jo and the nurse who took the DNA has since passed away so couldn't testify about the proper handling of evidence, so he decided to drop the rape charge in exchange for Agbonze pleading guilty to stealing the car. In return, Agbonze received a five year suspended sentence.
Agbonze says, "I asked God to help me and God came to my rescue."
He says this was a one-night stand and "Jo" got angry he took the car, so she lied and claimed rape. He said it was consensual and he knows he shouldn't have stolen the car, but, he was young, only 18 at the time.
But, Tulsa police say when they interviewed him, he told them he didn't know Jo and there'd be no reason his DNA would be on her and denied taking the car.
Agbonze says he was willing to plead guilty to what he did, but not to something he did not do. "I told the truth. I stuck to the truth the whole time."
He says he's grateful the rape charge was dismissed and wants people to know he's not capable of doing such a violent thing.
He says, "I'm not a monster. I'm a good guy. (sigh)."
Jo, however, says the opposite. "He's a monster."
She says she's disappointed he won't have to register as a sex offender and is worried the community is at risk. Jo says she went to every hearing, testified and did all she could which made her feel empowered. Now, she has a career helping others.
Agbonze says this situation has made him stronger and brought him closer to God and he’s glad his name has been cleared.