After a comprehensive review of the evidence, Suffolk County prosecutors today terminated the criminal case against JULIAN EDELMAN, arrested outside a downtown nightclub in the early morning hours of Nov. 1.
“After a thorough investigation of this case by the Boston Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit … the Commonwealth has concluded that it would not be able to meet its burden at trial of proving each of the elements of indecent assault and battery beyond a reasonable doubt,” prosecutors wrote in a nolle prosequi – a legal document withdrawing prosecution – filed in court this morning, well in advance of Edelman’s first scheduled court date on Jan. 10.
“Specifically, a review of both witness statements and video surveillance has revealed that the Commonwealth would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally engaged in a harmful or offensive touching of the complainant that would be regarded by society as immodest, immoral, and improper,” the document reads.
Every victim of sexual assault is urged to come forward to local police or the district attorney’s office. Suffolk prosecutors reminded the public that every allegation of sexual violence is fully investigated, regardless of who the victim or offender might be. Victims may also contact the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371.
The probe in this case included an examination of video surveillance footage from the scene of the incident, a review of the 911 calls that brought Boston Police to that incident, multiple interviews with the complainant in which she was represented by counsel, a study of statements by various parties at the scene of the incident, and analysis of the relevant statute and case law.
Edelman had been charged with indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping a woman during the 1:30 a.m. incident at Storyville on Exeter Street. The evidence suggests that he approached a woman on the dance floor and took her hand briefly. Review of the videotape indicates that the physical contact between the two was fleeting, prosecutors say, and did not meet the elements of any crime.
To constitute indecent assault and battery, physical contact must be intentional; potentially physically harmful or an affront to the victim’s integrity; fundamentally offensive to contemporary moral values; and without justification or excuse. Prosecutors could not prove these elements with the evidence contained in the surveillance imagery, witness statements, and other sources.
Edelman was represented by attorney Amy McNamee.