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Michigan Prisoner Boycotts Rape Trial, Still Acquitted

Facing a sexual assault trial of a fellow prisoner is a pretty serious felony, making one think they would want to be present during the trial. Feeling he could not get a fair trial, Charlie Lee Floyd, 46, boycotted that trial. Despite his absence, the jury acquitted Floyd.

The alleged sexual assault occurred in a 12 man cell at Michigan?s Macomb County Jail. The victim, a 19-year-old man who has a mental disability and was in jail for cutting his father with a knife, claimed Floyd forced him to engage in oral sex and touched him with his penis.

Floyd was in jail awaiting trial for the kidnapping of one woman and rape of another woman when the jail charges arose. He fired several court-appointed lawyers and requested to represent himself. Although he did attend jury selection, he put his head down on the defense table for a short period.

As trial was about to begin, Floyd refused to sit down. He told Judge James Biernat, it?s ?your trial.? After he was escorted from the courtroom, Floyd refused to dress in civilian clothes or return to the courtroom.

?Mr. Floyd felt he could not get a fair trial because he?s a black man in Macomb County and probably would get an all-white jury,? Albert Markowski said before trial. ?He doesn?t have to [appear]. It?s his absolute right to not be here?. Mr. Floyd doesn?t trust anybody. He?s claimed from the beginning that he didn?t do it.?

The victim, who was the primary evidence, testified. The trial took place in less than three hours. The jury, which included a black woman, deliberated for four to five hours, returning a not guilty verdict.

The prosecutor believed Floyd?s absence may have benefited him. ?He is animated and they would see him and the way he acts,? said Macomb County prosecutor Denise Harts. ?It might have changed their minds.?

Source: Macomb Daily

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