State v. Rashidi

Mulanga Rashidi, an African refugee, found his life turned upside down when he, and three other refugees were charged in state court with rape.  The charges placed him in jeopardy of not only serving a lengthy prison sentence, but also losing his refugee status and being removed from the United States.

Drawing on his experience in raising pretrial challenges to the prosecution’s evidence, Tom carefully reviewed the State’s evidence, including interviews of Mulanga conducted by the authorities.  Through his meticulous analysis, Tom identified a flaw in the manner which the authorities questioned Mulanga.  Tom filed a motion to suppress Mulanga’s post-arrest statement based on the violation of his constitutional rights by the police. 

Recognizing the merit in Tom’s motion, the State offered Mulanga a misdemeanor offense, dismissing the rape charge and recommending a time served sentence.  Mulanga was returned to his family, safe from deportation back to the country from which he had fled as a refugee.