OLATHE, Kan. – A Minnesota man is free after spending 11 months in a Johnson County jail on a rape and battery charges. He said he never did it.
Eric Wanjiku is all smiles as he walks away from the courthouse.
“He’s extraordinarily happy obviously he’s frustrated having been in jail for the past year,” James Colgan, Wanjiku’s defense attorney said.
Wanjiku met a woman at Saints Bar and Grill in Lenexa last February. She claimed he raped her inside her truck in the parking lot. Several witnesses tackled Wanjiku after they heard her screaming “rape.”
Wanjiku was charged with rape and then battery for biting a bouncer.
But his attorney said details in the story, just didn’t add up.
“My client came to the bar in a taxi cab. Not exactly good planning for someone who is going to be raping someone, there was no getaway,” Colgan said.
Colgan said what happened inside the woman’s truck, was consensual. In fact, he said surveillance video inside the bar would’ve proved the woman was interacting with Wanjiku as much as he, her. But Colgan said police didn’t keep all the video.
“My frustration is that if all of it had been preserved it would’ve shown an interaction that would’ve change the perception of everybody on this case,” he said.
State prosecutor Keith Henderson said he felt the Lenexa Police Department did save what was appropriate from the surveillance footage. He said police saved about the last hour and Colgan wanted to see more than two hours worth.
A judge dropped the rape charge last week.
Tuesday, a judge dismissed Wanjiku’s battery charge after a witness didn’t show. Colgan had long said his client acted in self-defense.
“He’s learned a really valuable lesson for the rest of his life. And I think he sees it that way,” Colgan said.
Wanjiku said he will try to go back to work so he can save up to visit his family in Kenya.
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