Rape charges dismissed after clerical error

Orlando Allen, 18, of Mason, was charged with rape in January after he and a 14-year-old boy allegedly forced a 14-year-old girl to have sex at a party in Mason. A Warren County grand jury apparently voted not to indict Allen, but transposed the vote tallies on the grand jury report and signed the indictment.

An assistant prosecutor overheard a grand juror say they hadn’t indicted Allen, according to Prosecutor David Fornshell. He began interviewing the grand jurors and realized the mistake made by the panel.

“I got the information on Tuesday and spent the day looking into what actually happened, and by Tuesday evening he was released,” Fornshell said.

Neither the prosecutor nor his staff are not allowed in the grand jury chamber while jurors are voting, Fornshell said, so no one could have flagged the error.

The prosecutor’s office cross checks grand jury reports against the signed indictments, but if a mistake is made behind the closed grand jury room doors, the office would not know, Fornshell said.

Allen was jailed Jan. 22 and remained in the Warren County Jail following a preliminary hearing in Mason Municipal Court when his case was bound over to the grand jury on Jan. 29, according to court records.

The juvenile male was also arrested in the case, but Fornshell dismissed those charges after the indictment snafu with Allen.

“Evidence was not specifically presented on the juvenile’s case, as to the issue of whether you had forcible rape versus consensual sex,” he said. “There were enough common issues from my perspective that, given that the grand jury based upon the evidence that was received did not vote to indict the adult… I felt there were enough common issues that I didn’t feel I could proceed against the juvenile.”

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