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|Current Court Information:|
|Georgia Court of Appeals|
|Preceded by:||Edward Johnson|
|Past position:||Private practice, Christopher J. McFadden, Attorney at Law|
|Law School:||University of Georgia|
Prior to his election to the court, McFadden worked in solo practice at his own firm, Christopher J. McFadden, Attorney at Law.
McFadden ran against Edward Johnson, Adrienne Hunter-Strothers, Antoinette Davis, Stan Gunter, James Babalola and David N. Schaeffer in the general election. In the general election runoff on November 30, he defeated Antoinette Davis, winning 62 percent of the vote.
- Main article: Georgia judicial elections, 2010
New trial ordered in rape case
William Jeffrey Dumas was convicted by a jury of repeatedly raping a woman with Down syndrome who was 24 at the time. Judge McFadden, after sentencing Dumas to 25 years in prison, ordered a new trial, because he was not convinced that Dumas was guilty. The judge's reasoning centered around his observations that the victim did not "behave like a victim."
The judge's motion for a new trial did state that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the two rape charges and one aggravated sodomy charge against Dumas. However, the judge's justification for granting a new trial hinged on the woman's lack of outcry. He wrote,
|“||[The woman] testified that, in a twelve-hour period, Mr. Dumas raped her three times...that he did so while the two of them were in a modest-sized house along with two responsible adults who were charged with protecting her; and that those attacks were interspersed with periods when she interacted with those protectors and had ample opportunity to ask for their help.||”|
According to the court documents, the incidents occurred in October of 2010 while others were in the house and the woman did not initially cry for help. The woman was staying with family friends while her mother and stepfather were working. Dumas was a friend of her hosts. The woman brought up the situation to one of her hosts later, and evidence of intercourse was discovered.
The prosecuting attorney, Scott Ballard, said he felt "disgust" at the judge's ruling and stated,
|“||I had to go visit the Down syndrome woman who was the victim of the rape and tell her that even though a jury had convicted her assailant of the crime, the judge was giving the guy a new trial...Her parents were, as you can image, outraged. …I just hope we can get some justice.||”|
David Perry, in an opinion piece on CNN's website, defended the woman by writing, "People with intellectual disabilities, even those with strong communication skills, can be vulnerable to sexual assault because they are unsure of what's right or wrong or whether they can say no."Judge McFadden was presiding over this case as a temporary Superior Court judge. An appeal of the decision would go to the Georgia Court of Appeals, where McFadden also sits as judge. However, he has recused himself from the case, following a request by the District Attorney's Office.
- AJC, "Crowded races for appellate court seats," July 2, 2010
- Martindale.com Profile
- Campaign Facebook Page
- Georgia Secretary of State, Unofficial Results of the General Election Runoff
- Georgia Secretary of State, Non-Partisan Candidates on the November 2, 2010 General Election Ballot
- Superior Court of Fayette County Georgia, "Georgia v. William Jeffrey Dumas, Order on Motion for New Trial," January 7, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Appeals court judge under fire for ordering new rape trial," February 26, 2014
- Salon, "Judge overturns rape verdict because the victim 'didn’t behave like a victim'," March 6, 2014
- CNN, "Rape case not just about Down syndrome," March 11, 2014