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Casey Ehrlick

Other Montana Exonerations
On October 16, 2014, 19-year-old Casey Ehrlick was arrested in Billings, Montana on charges of sexually assaulting his 18-year-old former girlfriend.

Ehrlick denied assaulting her and said that they had broken up and that she was attempting to extract revenge by making a false claim of rape. He was charged with rape and sexual assault with a weapon—a bundle of colored pencils.

By that time, the complainant had also accused Joseph Weinreber of raping her in a construction site portable toilet. That assault allegedly happened shortly after Ehrlick was arrested.

Ehrlick went to trial in Yellowstone County District Court. The complainant testified that she was asleep in bed when she awoke in pain and discovered that Ehrlick was sexually assaulting her with a bundle of colored pencils. She said when she came fully awake, he then forced her to have sex with him.

A sexual assault nurse examiner testified that the complainant came to the hospital two days after the alleged assault. The examiner testified that she found abrasions and tearing consistent with rape.

A defense pathologist testified that he found no such abrasions and no evidence that the complainant had been assaulted with pencils or raped.

On October 6, 2015, a jury convicted Ehrlick of rape, but acquitted him of assault with a weapon.

Not long after the trial, the complainant, who is autistic, told her disability services counselor that the assault did not happen. The counselor informed police, who then interviewed the woman again. During that interview, the woman could not remember her statement to the counselor and could not remember her testimony at the trial.

In 2016, Yellowstone County prosecutor Brett Linneweber informed Ehrlick’s defense attorney, who filed a motion to vacate the conviction. On May 9, the prosecution dismissed the charges against Weinreber.

On May 19, Ehrlick was granted a new trial and released from jail. On June 20, 2016, the prosecution dismissed the charge against him.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 6/23/2016
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2014
Sentence:Not sentenced
Age at the date of reported crime:19
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No