DA: rape suspect shouldn't have been paroled
Updated: Thursday, August 28 2014, 09:36 AM EDT
By Patrice Walsh
District Attorney Sandra Doorley said as the mother of a 14 year old daughter, she thinks about the young victim in this case.
According to court papers, Rochester Police said 23 year old Michael Caruthers took the victim to a secluded area near the Liberty Pole downtown, and violently raped, choked and threatened to kill her if she screamed. This happened just after 7:30 in the morning on Saturday August 23rd. Less than 24 hours after Caruthers was paroled from state prison in Watertown.
He was supposed to check in at the Salvation Army after being released, but he never did. He was also scheduled to check in with his Parole Officer Monday, but was already in custody.
Caruthers is charged with First Degree Rape and First Degree Criminal Sex Act. Both are violent felonies.
Doorley said she’s infuriated that Caruthers was released from state prison in Watertown after serving just two years and one month of a five year sentence for robbery and grand larceny.
But State Department of Corrections Officials stand by their decision to parole Caruthers telling 13 WHAM NEWS:
"Michael Caruthers was released from prison after serving each and every day possible under his imposed sentence and in accordance with state law."
Doorley maintains it wasn’t long enough given Caruthers violent history and the Parole Board's finding that he remained a danger to the community.
She apologized to the rape victim and her family and told them her office will do everything in its power to investigate and prosecute this case so that no one else can get hurt.
Doorley said Caruthers was not serving time as a violent offender, that’s why he was released after serving two-thirds of his sentence. She believes sentencing rules need to be changed so that all are determinate. That way she said victims, their families and the community know exactly how long the offender will serve in prison.
She said given the history in this case, she believes the Department of Corrections and Parole should’ve have looked more closely at Caruther’s criminal record and violent past before releasing him.
Caruthers is due to appear in Rochester City Court on Thursday morning but Doorley said a Monroe County Grand Jury will hear evidence in this case. The 14 year old victim will testify before that jury.