The defense attorney receives text messages from the alleged victims stating the couple’s innocence.
Indian American Anuj Chopra and his wife, Leslie Chopra, have been acquitted of sex felony charges by the Ottawa County, in Michigan, prosecutors after the defense provided vital evidences to prove their innocence, local media reports said.
In a dramatic turn of events, the defense attorney claimed that he received text messages from the alleged victims stating that the couple was innocent. He also said that police trained the witnesses and threatened them with jail term if they didn’t comply.
The Chopras, both 43 years old, were charged with sex felony charges by police in December 2017 for allegedly trying to solicit their teenage daughter’s friends for sex.
Grand Rapids attorney Damian Nunzio said in a Monday in a statement that after the case went to the court, the alleged victim and witnesses were pressured by police into keeping with their false stories to cover-up lapses that happened during the investigation.
“They were merely acting as confederates to save their own hides. They never thought that (the defense) would get the text messages and unearth the scheme,” read an official statement of Nunzio quoted by Michigan Live .
According to Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz, the disclosure of the defense attorney led to further investigation of the case and more “exculpatory” evidence were obtained resulting in the dismissal.
Human trafficking charges were slapped on Anuj Chopra after he allegedly offered money in return for taking sex video of two teenage boys, who were his daughter’s classmates.
He said he was only joking. The boys were close friends and called each other “Babe,” testimony showed.
Leslie Chopra was charged with distributing sexually explicit messages to minors using digital platforms. She allegedly sent a “selfie” wearing lingerie.
According to Nunzio, who accessed thousands of text messaged from the alleged teen victims, said on last Friday that police fabricated the case by pressuring teen witnesses to “bait Leslie Chopra.”
All the messages he accessed were shared with the prosecutors and police for verification after which the charges against the couple were dropped.
The incident that resulted in the police raiding the residence of the Chopras allegedly happened in the summer of 2016 when they were accused of sending nude pictures of a female student.
The raid could not find any evidence that the Chopras sent the nude photos but shortly after that, a 17-year-old male student and two other witnesses befriended the couple’s daughter, who also attended the same high school.
“Unbeknownst to the Chopras, the alleged victim was a good friend with the female student whose nude photographs were leaked in the summer of 2016,” Nunzio said in an official statement.
He said police and school officials learned through students and parents that the three 17-year-old students had been hanging around the Chopras. The three were brought into the school office and questioned, Nunzio said.
“One of the witnesses said that if he did not say bad things about the Chopras — he would get in trouble and go to jail,” Nunzio said.
“The witness said police told him what to say but admitted ‘none of that happened you guys have been so nice to us and I don’t know why they are trying to do this to you,'” the attorney wrote.
“These messages were communicated immediately after they were brought to the school office.”
“The alleged victim revealed that he was merely joking around with the Chopras and that he, too, was threatened with jail if he did not cooperate with police. The alleged victim said that he told authorities what they wanted to hear, the defense attorney concluded.”