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Rape charge dismissed in 2015 case
Alleged victim's admission of manipulation, previous false reports played roles
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A Lithia Springs man had the sexual assault allegations against him dismissed Tuesday after the examination of pretrial evidence, according to authorities.

Lonzo Shafer III, 36, was charged with rape and aggravated sodomy in May 2015. He was indicted in March, when more charged were added. The dismissal order was signed Tuesday.

“As part of (Shafer’s) investigation of the case, it has been learned that the alleged victim in this case has not only made previous false allegations of physical violence against a former husband but has also admitted such in a Facebook post,” according to a motion filed April 20 by Shafer’s attorney Larry Duttweiler.

Gainesville Police said at the time of Shafer’s arrest that Shafer and the alleged victim came into contact with one another through an “unspecified e-commerce and trading website.”

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Lee Darragh’s office drafted a nolle prossequi, a dismissal notice indicating an interest to not prosecute the case. After noting the documentation that would be used by the defense to “impeach the victim,” the district attorney’s office concluded that the trial would be the victim’s word against Shafer’s word.

“Based on this and the likelihood that the victim’s credibility will be challenged, the State does not believe that the evidence in this case is sufficient to obtain a conviction,” according to the district attorney’s notice.

The alleged victim was agreeable to the decision and did not want to testify in court, according to the district attorney’s notice.

According to Duttweiler’s motion, the alleged victim had written on Facebook she had “conned and manipulated all my life.”

“I want to apologize to everybody I’ve hurt,” according to the quoted Facebook post included in Duttweiler’s motion. “Especially I want to apologize to my husband who I slandered (by reporting) him for abuse.”

Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver signed the dismissal order Tuesday.

“When the announcement came and I explained it to my guy ... he hugged me hard and sobbed out loud,” Duttweiler wrote in an email.

Duttweiler declined to comment further.

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