Judge Paul Harris's excuse for acquittal:
The judge said that without the woman's testimony, he could not be sure that she hadn't consented to the attack. "You have very rare cases; sadomasochists sometimes like to get beat up."Because the victim wasn't willing to testify, despite other witnesses, the judge assumed that the attack was welcomed and that a violent man should therefore go free. Other legal experts disagree:
"Unless he found that the officer was not credible, it appears that there would be enough by which a typical fact-finder, a reasonable fact-finder, would have found the element of second- degree assault to exist in that case beyond a reasonable doubt," Byron L. Warnken, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, said. "The notion that you can't possibly try this case without the victim there is incorrect. What would we do in a murder case?"Later Harris said the sadomasochist comment was intended as a hypothetical. "I'm probably as against domestic violence as anybody, when the case is proven." Comforting.