- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The Missoula County attorney on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the case against a man who was convicted of raping a 13-year-old boy at the county’s juvenile detention facility in 2002.

Kirsten Pabst said she thoroughly reviewed Cody Marble’s case after the Montana Supreme Court last August overturned a district judge’s decision denying Marble a new trial, even though the accuser had recanted his statement in 2010.

“This judgment lacks integrity and in the interests of doing justice, it must be dismissed,” Pabst wrote in her petition to District Judge Ed McLean.

At least three witnesses had recanted their statements, two others told different stories than the accuser and the first person to report the alleged rape lied, Pabst found.

Detention officers who were interviewed said there was no window of opportunity for the rape to have happened and that they’d heard other inmates were trying to set up Marble.

Marble, who was 17 in 2002, has consistently denied the charge. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 15 suspended.

“We recognize that there may be people who will always insist that Marble is guilty, including people who are respected and informed members of our community. But we cannot allow personal opinions to sway us from our sworn duty to seek justice, not merely convict.”

Shortly after the accuser gave a statement to the Montana Innocence Project recanting his trial testimony, a judge granted him immunity against perjury charges for anything he might say while he was interviewed by the former county attorney.

However, the former county attorney told the accuser that if he could find sufficient evidence outside of what was said in the deposition, he would prosecute him for perjury, Pabst’s motion noted. The accuser then recanted his retraction.

The accuser died of suicide two years ago during a standoff with law enforcement officers in Havre.

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