Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur sought this week to clarify her reasons for not prosecuting Cassandra Ann Kennedy, who claimed she falsely accused her father of raping her more than ten years ago.
The woman’s father, Thomas Edward Kennedy, was released from prison late last month after a judge threw out the case against him.
In an interview, Baur said her office declined to file charges against Cassandra Kennedy because she wants to encourage other victims and witnesses who may have lied to come forward and tell the truth.
Baur also said her office won’t charge Cassandra Kennedy because it’s still unclear exactly what happened in the case. Baur said the court didn’t rule that Cassandra Kennedy lied, only that her statements this year raised enough doubt about the original conviction to toss it out. Baur said she declined to retry Thomas Kennedy because the victim had recanted, so the charges were dropped.
Lastly, Baur said that the statute of limitations precludes her from bringing charges against Cassandra Kennedy.
Cassandra Kennedy was 11 when, in 2001, she claimed her father raped her. Thomas Kennedy was convicted of three counts of first-degree rape of a child in 2002 and served more than nine years of a 15-year prison sentence. His daughter approached police in January, saying she lied about the abuse.
The story drew the attention of myriad media outlets across the Northwest and the U.S.