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DNA Clears Hopkins Man of Sexual Misconduct Charges

Criminal sexual conduct charges against Edgar Jesus Gonzalez-Mendoza were dismissed Wednesday.

DNA evidence has helped exonerate a Hopkins man accused of inappropriate sexual contact with his 6-year-old niece.

Edgar Jesus Gonzalez-Mendoza, 32, was charged in July with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony. Those charges were dismissed Wednesday at the request of prosecutors.

Although prosecutors initially had probable cause to charge Gonzalez-Mendoza, continuing investigation by police produced evidence, including DNA that didn’t match his DNA profile, that required the charges to be dismissed in the interest of justice, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

 

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Leslie Grover December 06, 2012 at 01:49 PM
To Betsy Sundquist who wrote the first article of presumed guilt...which was by the way three times longer than the one on proven innocence...how about printing explicit details of the anguish and suffering the innocent man and his family have gone through also by being falsely accused of such a horrific crime. Thank you James Warden for the integrity to rectify the accusation. This was a horrible injustice to the child and to the one falsely accused, but the first article written is a perfect example of journalism that was disgustingly written pandering to those who are interested only in titillating and unnecessary detail.
James Warden (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I edit the stories and run the site, so any criticism you have should be directed at me, not Betsy. I'm trying to get in contact with Mr. Gonzalez-Mendoza to do a more fleshed out story on what it's like to be on the other side of a false accusation. I've reached out to people who know him but haven't heard anything back yet. As for length, this story is shorter simply because it takes less time to say someone didn't do something than it does to lay out the charges against him. There's nothing more to it than that. I still made the exoneration story the number one post of that day's newsletter and featured it prominently on the homepage, Facebook and Twitter. Like I said, I'm happy to do a more in-depth story about this man's experiences. Anyone who knows him can ask him to call me at 612-889-6452 or e-mail me at james.warden@patch.com.
Leslie Grover December 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM
The original story was longer because of all the unnecessary details.That article itself the way it was written should have been "Flagged as inappropriate". Ms. Sundquist could have made her point without those intimate details and you likewise could have edited the story with better discretion.I noticed I wasn't the only person who felt that way. I also did thank you for running the exoneration.
Leslie Grover December 06, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I also noticed the word "Alleged" was not used in the first article.
James Warden (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 09:40 PM
"Alleged" is a cop-out word. It doesn't weaken the accusation in the mind of the reader or get the writer out of legal trouble. What we did instead was say who said what. In other words, we clearly specified who made the accusations and what the accusations were but never stated that those accusations were true. So you see things like "The child’s father told police" or "The girl told investigators." That allows the reader to weigh the source of the allegations on their own instead of just trusting a reporter who threw an "alleged" into a sentence that was essentially prejudicial.
Dave Timmons December 10, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Getting a truthful story that clearly indicates that the allegations, are just allegations, and have yet to be proven, is more important than arguing over "cop-out" words. Betsy's article tried and convicted the guy in the media. That IS poor journalism. If Betsy dreams of moving beyond Patch, she better wise up.
James Warden (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Alleged is a cop-out word because readers start to just glosses over the word in the process of reading the story. In the end, it starts to read like, "Person A allegedly (wink, wink) committed this crime." When you say who made the allegation, the readers can weigh the facts in their own mind. Is there physical evidence that supports it? Is it something an officer observed? Did it come from an unreliable source? Those questions are better answered by saying who said what. And there is no assumption involved. An accusation is, by definition, an allegation.

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