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Elmore Co. DA: 100 Charges Have "Inadmissable Evidence" in Child Rape Case
From Elmore County -- the story we broke exclusively at noon...
A man accused of raping and molesting children had faced 105 charges, but now that's down to five. Prosecutors say that's because the Tallassee police officer investigating the case is now being investigated himself.
Alabama News Network was the only T.V. station in the courtroom when we found out the shocking details to one of the highest profiled cases in Elmore County.
Stephen Conrad came to court today to make a plea on his case, but that didn't happen -- instead, that plea has been delayed. And District Attorney, Randall Houston, says that's because Tallassee Assistant Chief, Chris Miles, was the lead investigator in the Conrad case -- but he illegally obtained the evidence and it can no longer be used.
"It calls into question everything with that officer and everything about the case," Said C.J. Robinson with the Elmore County District Attorney's office. He says it's a case that's left he and other investigators able to only prove five charges against Stephen Conrad, who is accused of raping and molesting eight children in the last 11 years.
Four of those children were family members. And the youngest was three months old.
Robinson says the lead investigator in the case, Tallassee Assistant Police Chief Chris Miles, physically coerced Conrad into confessing, as well as three co-defendants, including his wife, Brandy Conrad, Helen Gantt and Mark Jeffrey Ray. They were were charged with failure to report the sexual abuse of a child.
All three now face no charges. Gant and Ray are still behind bars in connection with other cases, but Brandy Conrad is now out of prison.
"It's devestating, it's very disappointing when you've got somebody that's committed just awful crimes in the community and multiple victims. And then when you find out maybe some of those crimes didn't happen," Said Robinson.
Robinson says the investigation against Miles questions the validity of the Conrad case. Now, the FBI and the Alabama Bureau of Investigations are looking into both cases against Conrad and Miles. This also means they're having to set back the plea hearing.
"[It's] because those cases were based entirely on confessions obtained by the officer, so we have dismissed those already. If the entire case rested on the confession, we would have to dismiss Conrad's case today, too. However, it's not," Said Elmore County District Attorney, Randall Houston.
The 100 counts of sex abuse could be re-charged against Conrad if investigators find a way to make these charges valid again. However, the judge has given them until Friday to come up with a plan.
Assistant Chief Miles is being investigated for possible theft, ethics violations and civil rights issues. The District Attorney's office says it can prove the five charges based on three victims who are old enough to testify.
Alabama News Network will keep you updated.
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