Rape charges against a Columbus firefighter have been dropped after Delaware County prosecutors failed to share evidence with the defense.
However, the attorney for Timothy Durbin, 51, who was accused of raping a young girl more than 10 years ago, doesn’t think the case is over.
First assistant county prosecutor Kyle Rohrer filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the case against Durbin after Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger ruled July 17 that the prosecution would be prohibited from presenting expert testimony at trial.
Durbin’s attorney, Terry Sherman, had filed a motion earlier this month to exclude the expert testimony because prosecutors failed to provide the testimony to the defense within the required 21 days of the trial’s start. The trial was scheduled to begin Monday, July 27.
“The defendant would have less than two weeks to evaluate the report and possibly consult and find its own experts,” Sherman said in the motion.
Krueger approved the prosecution’s motion to dismiss the case Thursday.
Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien said the case is closed for now but it is possible to charge Durbin again in the future.
Sherman said he doesn’t consider the case to be over.
“Both sides are stepping back,” Sherman said. “This is basically a pause to refresh and reassess.”
Sherman said the case was rushed through by prosecutors but said he was ready to go to trial. Sherman said he hopes prosecutors keep an “open mind” when discussing the case in the future and take time to hear Durbin’s side of the story.
“I’ve got a guy here who is totally innocent,” Sherman said. “The law should protect the innocent.”
Durbin, of 5338 Ruth Amy Ave., Westerville, was indicted April 10 on three counts of rape, which are first-degree felonies; three counts of gross sexual imposition, which are third-degree felonies; and a count of kidnapping, a first-degree felony.
Court documents state that between July 1, 2003, and July 31, 2004, Durbin allegedly engaged in a variety of sexual activities with a young female relative of his wife at the time. Durbin and his wife divorced in 2010.
Documents indicate the girl was 6 years old at the time and didn’t tell anyone about the alleged misconduct until September 2014. A police investigation then began.
Durbin has been a firefighter in the city of Columbus for 21 years. He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Durbin was released from the Delaware County Jail after he posted bond in April.
He reportedly was placed on administrative leave from his job. Columbus fire department officials could not be reached for comment.