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Prosecutors decline to file rape charge against former high-ranking city official

October 9, 2009 |  4:11 pm
Los Angeles County prosecutors have declined to file charges against a former high-ranking Los Angeles city official who was under police investigation for allegedly raping a woman at his downtown condominium, authorities said.

Andrew Adelman, former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, was placed on administrative leave in August by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when the allegation became public. Several weeks ago, Adelman tendered his resignation.‬‪

"My client and his family are truly appreciative of the dispassionate and measured analysis by the D.A. that resulted in my client's vindication," said Adelman's attorney, Mark Geragos. "It's truly unfortunate that the city of L.A. has lost a dedicated public servant because of these unfounded allegations."

In a July 28 search warrant, Los Angeles Police Department investigators said they were told that the woman who made the allegations had gone out with friends on a pub-crawl July 10 in the downtown area. She told police she was drugged and that she awoke the next morning as she was being sexually assaulted by a man she later identified as Adelman, according to the affidavit.‬‪

Prosecutors cited several factors for their decision not to seek charges. They included a surveillance video and an interview with a cab driver who drove the pair to Adelman's car that evening. Neither the video nor the cab driver suggested that the woman appeared drugged. Authorities also said a drug test came up negative for a variety of substances. However, the test did not screen for typical date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, which disappear from the body quickly, and prosecutors noted that the test was not done until 42 hours after the time when the woman said she had been drugged.

Also, police surreptitiously recorded telephone calls between Adelman and the woman after the alleged drugging. Adelman "eventually acknowledged sexual acts took place, but did not admit to drugging her. He maintained that the victim had too much to drink," court papers said.

The victim told police she did consume alcohol, but not to the point of intoxication.

"Without some corroboration to support the allegation that the victim was drugged, this office cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual assault occurred," prosecutors said in court papers.

--Andrew Blankstein