Created: 08/27/2014 6:00 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
There is new insight today on a case many of you have been talking about. The Monroe County District Attorney sat down with us to talk about the arrest of a man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.
Police say Michael Caruthers raped the girl on Liberty Pole Way around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
One question we keep getting from outraged viewers is why was Caruthers out of prison after a history of criminal behavior. We discovered he could have been locked up much longer, were it not for a judge's discretion.
“It’s frustrating for us prosecutors.” Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says she can't understand why two-time convicted felon Michael Caruthers was out of prison and walking the streets.
One day after being released from state custody, he was arrested again on Saturday, charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in broad daylight downtown. Doorley said, “I'm just not confident he couldn't have spent a little more time in state prison on the conviction."
Caruthers had spent three years and four months in state and local custody on an armed robbery charge. Despite twice being denied parole, he was released Friday morning after serving two-thirds of the five year sentence. The state department of corrections says it had to release him under the law.
But we discovered that Caruthers may still have been in prison on the day of the rape, had he been given the maximum sentence.
Convicted of third-degree robbery, the max for a second time offender is three and a half years to seven years. Judge John DeMarco instead sentenced him to two and a half to five years. Furthermore, after a non-jury trial, DeMarco found Caruthers not guilty of second-degree robbery, considered a more serious, violent felony with a sentence of up to 15 years. We contacted Demarco's chambers for comment but he did not return our call.
Doorley said, “I can see why there was no plea offered on the robbery. I can see why this office took it to trial. Again, we were disappointed with the verdict."
Doorley has spent the past few days going over Caruthers files and has come to this conclusion. “He's a dangerous individual but I can tell the community the current offense, we will make sure we do our best to secure a conviction in this matter and ask for the maximum."
We spoke with a relative of Caruthers off camera today. She says Caruthers was wrongly convicted of the robbery and took the rap for someone else. She also says the family stands by him despite the way he is being portrayed following his latest arrest.