LAX COURTHOUSE — A Malibu man who was accused of sexually assaulting a Santa Monica College student in the campus library was cleared of all charges this week after prosecutors determined there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the case.
The dismissal of the case against 40-year-old Chase Guy Reynolds came more than a week after he was released on his own recognizance because DNA test results came back negative and did not yield a match with the victim, a Santa Monica College student.
He was charged on April 7 with two counts of sexual battery by restraint, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of second degree robbery stemming from the alleged incident that took place several days earlier. He was taken into custody after a woman contacted authorities about having seen a man who closely resembled a composite sketch of the suspect, detained as he left the library near the location where the assault reportedly occurred, police said.
Reynolds was later identified by the victim.
Deputy District Attorney David Zygielbaum said he doesn’t intend to refile charges against Reynolds at this point.
“We’re doing further investigation right now but there’s nothing else to report at this time,” he said.
Defense attorney Greg Humphries said that there was no crime that occurred at all on April 4 when the victim reported the sexual assault, noting that it was impossible for Reynolds to have contact with her that day, especially in the manner of how she described the claim.
He added that there was other evidence found on the victim’s belt, which was preserved for forensics the day of the alleged assault, and that her explanation of how the DNA got there was an implausible story. In a supplemental police report, the victim claimed that the DNA came from another incident that took place in a parking lot after the belt was submitted to forensics, Humphries said.
“She made a total implausible reference and accusation as to how the DNA got there because she said it happened in the library,” he said.
Humphries added that videos don’t show his client ever entering or leaving the library the day of the alleged assault.
The assault reportedly took place as the victim exited the restroom at the SMC library where a man allegedly pinned her against the wall, stealing her house key and fleeing when startled by an announcement over the intercom.
While the victim did identify Reynolds as the suspect, Humphries said that eyewitness evidence can be unreliable. He added that there was a discrepancy in the description originally given to police of the suspect and the person taken into custody, including the eye and hair color, weight, height and clothes worn at the time.
“It was just a five month, 20 day nightmare for him being in custody,” he said. “I visited him 20 or 30 times during that period of time and saw what he was going through.
“It’s not pretty for someone to be an alleged sex criminal to be in county jail.”