Charges Dropped Against Husband in Pizza Delivery Rape Case
David Jansen Had Been Charged With Raping Woman Who Has a History of False Claims
By SARAH NETTER
July 2, 2009—
Charges of rape and kidnapping have been dropped against a married father of two who got more than he bargained for during a romantic rendezvous in the mountains with a stripper.
David Jansen was arrested after a pizza deliveryman stopped by his remote rented cabin in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains and saw a woman tied up on the couch mouthing, "Call 911."
But Jansen claimed all along that the woman was his lover and that she was into bondage, his lawyers providing stacks of evidence that the two had been in a relationship for sometime.
After news of the arrest hit the media, the woman's history of filing false rape claims surfaced and her mother was interviewed saying that her daughter was a notorious liar.
The Sevier County District Attorney's Office agreed with Jansen, saying in a statement that "we could not obtain a conviction against Mr. Jansen nor would we try."
"As district attorneys our job is to seek justice not convictions," District Attorney James B. Dunn said in the statement. "Justice requires us to dismiss these charges based on the victim's credibility and other evidence."
Dunn's statement noted that the woman has been told about their decision and "she insists that her allegations are true.
"This office will not prosecute the victim," Dunn said in the statement. "The evidence would not sustain a conviction for making a false report."
As for Jansen, his lawyers said he's just happy to be cleared.
"Mr. Jansen looks forward to resuming some level of normalcy in his life in hopes to move on as best as possible from this incident," his attorneys said in a statement. "As one might imagine, it has been costly on both a financial and emotional level."
But the damage is already done in many aspects. His wife filed for divorce shortly after learning of his arrest.
Pizza Deliveryman Makes Startling Discovery
The case gained notoriety when pizza deliveryman Chris Turner was initially hailed as a hero for rescuing the woman. But he, too, has reportedly found trouble for himself, being arrested on charges that he hit his wife while they delivered pizzas together, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Turner, who worked for Capelli's Pizza & Subs, told ABCNews.com last month that he initially didn't know what to think when he delivered the large supreme pizza, 10 hot wings and four bottles of 20-ounce soda to the cabin.
Turner, 32, said he saw the woman, whose name is not being released due to her accusation of sexual assault, laying on the couch when he asked Jansen to sign the credit card slip for the purchase.
The woman, on her back with her wrists tied, lifted herself up to look at Turner, he said, and mouthed "Call 911."
"I really didn't know to believe her at first," Turner said, adding that she was fully clothed and he at first thought he had stumbled onto a couple simply having a sexual encounter. "She really didn't look like she was in distress."
Turner said he mouthed back to the woman, asking if she was "for real" and decided she was serious after she rolled her eyes back at him.
Turner said he tried to play it cool with Jansen, then hopped back into the car where his wife was waiting and had her drive to the nearest neighbor's house to call 911 since his cell phone didn't get service in that part of the mountains.
"I was pale white and numb all over," he said. "I just told her to go."
Deputies initially believed Jansen's story that the two knew each other through a club that the woman owned with her husband and that they had discussed the bondage, but began doubting his account after speaking with the woman, according to police reports.
According to the woman's account to police in the report, Jansen pulled up next to her while she was jogging and asked her to come look at his new car. The woman told police she sat down but Jansen then tied her hands down with what she described as "pre-made restraints of rope," according to the report.
Pleading His Case
After his arrest Jansen tried to convince police that the woman, whose identity is being withheld because she may be the victim of a sexual assault, was with him voluntarily and that she enjoyed bondage.
His lawyer Donald Bosch said that Jansen would spend up to $1,000 a night with her at Tattletales where he knew her as "Violet."
The attorney also released the results of a June 1 lie detector test administered to Jansen that he reportedly passed.
In addition, Bosch released photos of herself the woman allegedly sent to Jansen, credit card receipts for a facial and a dinner he allegedly paid for the woman, and surveillance videos of Jansen in a convenience store and at a busy gas station on the day he was accused of kidnapping the woman.
Maj. Ron Hunton of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, about 30 miles north of Atlanta, told ABCNews.com earlier this week that the woman twice called police in August 2005, saying she had been kidnapped from her apartment by two Hispanic men and taken behind a Kohl's store and raped.
"Once her story quickly unraveled, the short version is the evidence didn't match what she was saying," Hunton said. "She eventually admitted that she made the allegation up."
Hunton said she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation and community service.
But while investigating the woman's story, Hunton said they turned up an arrest from Henry County in 2004 where she had made very similar claims that turned out to be false -- that she was kidnapped and raped by Hispanic men. Hunton said she was never charged in that incident.
And in Fannin County, Hunton said the woman pleaded guilty to another count of making a false report after claiming she had been stabbed.