Judge dismisses rape case over evidence issues

Shawn Isaiah Moses

WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County judge dismissed a man’s rape charge Tuesday after a prosecutor said the case ran into evidence problems.

Shawn Isaiah Moses, 23, of Winchester, appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court with his attorney Peter McDermott. A grand jury indicted Moses on Jan. 10 on one count of rape by force or threat.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola made a motion to dismiss the charge against Moses. Campola told Judge Dennis L. Hupp that the case had run into some evidentiary issues but would not elaborate. McDermott did not object to the request. Hupp granted the motion but explained to Moses that the commonwealth could reinstate the charge. The judge advised Moses that the court needed to take his fingerprints for the record before his release from custody.

The commonwealth’s attorney sought a direct indictment against Moses, meaning the case did not originate in a lower court. No documents describing the alleged act, such as a criminal complaint or an affidavit for a search warrant, appeared in the court file.

A document that included information about the case and the defendant, including his fingerprints, listed the date of the alleged offense as Dec. 17, 2017, even though the indictment charges Moses with committing the act on Dec. 24.