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Case dismissed against local OBGYN accused of sexual assault

Decision coming on motion to dismiss Dr. Juan Villarreal alleged sexual assault case
Posted at 2:24 PM, Jan 31, 2023

UPDATE:

Visiting Judge Robert Pate dismissed the sexual assault case against former local OBGYN Dr. Juan Villarreal on Monday, due to "spoliation and violation of the Richard Miles Act."

The Richard Miles Act requires law enforcement to provide all evidence and any information in a case.

Officials must then sign off on the information provided in a document that states they've turned over all evidence in the case.

We will have more information as it becomes available on KRIS 6 News at 4, 5, 6 and 10.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A local doctor indicted on 14 counts of sexual assault was back in court Tuesday, this time with a new judge.

Visiting judge Robert Pate was assigned the case of Dr. Juan Villarreal two weeks ago after newly elected 148th District Court Judge David Klein recused himself.

During the hearing, Pate noted a motion to dismiss, filed last year, had not been ruled on by former 148th District Court Judge Carlos Valdez.

As KRIS 6 News has reported, that motion to dismiss was based on the Nueces County District Office misplacing one or two boxes of evidence in the Villarreal case, which was indicted in 2018. KRIS 6 News was the first to report on that missing evidence.

Defense attorneys for Villarreal filed a second motion to dismiss last week. This motion stemmed from testimony given at the motion to dismiss hearing in September in which the lead detective said he could not swear to the Michael Morton Act.

Given the longevity of the case and the yet undecided motions to dismiss, Pate considered dismissing the indictment without prejudice, which would allow the district attorney's office to reindict the case on the evidence it holds.

"It just seems to me in the interest of fairness what we ought to do is just dismiss the indictment and if you want to re-indict you can It would be totally without prejudice, but you can do it on the evidence," Pate said.

Both the prosecution and defense argued against this.

Will Greenlee said the DA's office is ready to go to trial and had provided the defense with everything it has. And that its case is based on testimony. Greenlee also said he had provided notice to the office that he would be leaving, so another prosecutor would be trying the case.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys Ron Barroso and Lisa Greenberg arguing the missing evidence would impact any future indictment the DA's office would bring.

Pate set a hearing Monday to consider these two motions to dismiss.

Meanwhile, Greenlee said some cases in which the statute of limitations has expired would be dismissed Tuesday.