All the facts in this editorial are from the transcripts of the trial of Edward “Reese” Hopkins and are public record.
By Edward Reese Hopkins
No one could have said it better than me when the news broke about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn story with its latest development. “See, I told you,” I said. My friends would argue I was the least bit subtle. My friends had already endured a six-week trial that would determine whether I would spend 25 years in prison for the rape of an 11-year old girl. A friend of my girlfriend’s daughter, told detectives she was raped by me, in my home in New York City, with my step-children in the next room. My accuser had come forward after an argument with her mother about failing grades at school. While questioning her daughter about her recent behavioral problems, my accuser revealed she was raped in October, 2004. The date of this revelation was April 24, 2008.
Yes, my accuser was now telling her mother that her recent school issues were a result of a violent rape that took place 3 1/2 years earlier. My accuser was now 15 1/2 years old.
The next day, my accuser, accompanied by her mother and girlfriend, set upon the Manhattan Special Victims Squad in Harlem, NY. There they met with Det. Rober Arbuiso (Ret), a 22-year veteran of the force, who had some 9 years experience in the child sexual abuse field and 16 years in the sex crimes unit. He met with everyone individually and my accuser – he claims – extensively. Det. Arbuiso took notes and began his investigation from there.
The detective recorded the facts given to him by my accuser, which were: (Graphic)
In October, 2004–
- Reese Hopkins ripped off my clothes
- Reese Hopkins penetrated me while on top of me
- Reese Hopkins penetrated me from behind
- I (Accuser) screamed as he raped me
- Reese Hopkins told me “keep screaming, it’s hot”
- I (Accuser) bled all over the bed
- Reese Hopkins kept my clothes, I had to wear (stepdaughter’s) clothes
- Reese Hopkins then raped his stepdaughter
On October 22, 2008, I was arrested by Det. Robert Arbuiso in Malden, MA. During questioning, Det. Arbuiso asked me where I lived in October, 2004.
My answer: Manchester, CT.
Since April 1, 2004, I was working as an on-air personality for the Star & Buc Wild Morning Show on Clear Channel’s Hip-Hop and R&B station, WPHH Power 104.1 - A syndicated morning show broadcast in at least two to three markets at the time. I was living in Manchester, CT with my then – girlfriend and son, who was attending school at Verplank Public School, also in Manchester, CT. He had been attending since August 25, 2004. There we would live until the Star & Buc Wild Show (The reason we moved to Manchester, CT) was moved back to New York City and broadcast out of the WWPR Power 105.1 studios on Avenue of the Americas in mid-town Manhattan. That date was January 17, 2005.
To put it simply: I wasn’t there at that time.
I was then extradited to New York City to be arraigned. I plead “not guilty” and received a bail of $100,000 cash and $300,000 bond. I was going nowhere. And I didn’t… for 2 1/2 years until trial. It took me a year with the limited resources I had to procure the proof I needed to show I lived elsewhere at the time of the alleged crime. School records, apartment lease, utility bills and bank statements were arduous in obtaining. All of this documentation & proof I eventually received took forever to reach me. It was painstakenly & agonizingly slow because the archived items usually are kept no more than 3 years and my alleged charges were 4 years old. However, what I did find made a difference….a small difference.
I was made an offer. “A sweet deal” some would call it. In November, 2009, after 13 months on Rikers Island, I could walk free. The caveat: plead guilty to a lower sexual offense and register as a sex offender. I IMMEDIATELY SAID NO! Take me to trial.
I DID NOT COMMIT THIS HEINOUS CRIME and I wouldn’t take a deal. It was a lie. I was determined to fight and that’s exactly what I did.
I called CNN. Maybe some media attention would bring light to my case
View Reese Interview
Then the worst thing happened. Prosecutors got wind of key elements of our defense. They found out I wasn’t in New York City in October, 2004. So, they were allowed to get the indictment changed to May of the same year. To the defense it didn’t matter. The facts of the case were clear. I had been working in Connecticut since April 1, 2004, from Sunday (6 pm) until Friday (1 pm) every week until I moved to Manchester, CT permanently on June 26, 2004. I was NOT in New York City in October, 2004. I had written documentation from the property manangement company that the apartment the alleged rape occurred was unoccupied on that date and was, in fact, being renovated.
When the trial began, tensions were high. Pre-trial deliberations were contentious and vitriolic on both sides - defense and prosecution. This was a fight that one side would lose, but both wanted to win. We chose a jury that we both could agree on. In fact, it was the least contentious part of the trial. There were almost no debates on jury selection. Both sides appeared to be pleased with the lot chosen. Now the moment of truth. The trial!
The prosecutor’s opening statements were about an atmosphere of sex and sexuality. The grooming of young girls. Masturbation and porn. Then a violent rape. The prosecution would call their first witness to the stand.
She began to tell the story of the rape and then, something strange happened… her story changed.
- Reese Hopkins ripped off my clothes - Became - He pulled my shorts to the side and never took off my clothes
- I (Accuser) screamed as he raped me - Became – I didn’t make a sound
- Reese Hopkins told me “keep screaming, it’s hot” - Became – I wasn’t screaming at all so he couldn’t have said that
- I (Accuser) bled all over the bed - Became – I never said, I bled
- Reese Hopkins kept my clothes, I had to wear (stepdaughter’s) clothes – Became- I never said that to [Det. Arbuiso]
- Reese Hopkins then raped his step-daughter – Became- I told the detective, “if he raped me he could have raped his step-daughter”
Oh, and the violent rape, as the ADA described in their opening statement, Became:
“I never blamed [Reese] for it. He wasn’t himself that day. I just went home and took a shower”
The District Attorney then removed Det. Robert Arbuiso from its witness list. The accuser had now made claims that contradicted the notes and investigation of the Special Victims Squad. It painted Det. Arbuiso as an incompetent detective who took spotty notes. Naturally, he became a witness for the defense. In fact, he was the defense’s ONLY witness!
Here was the result according to the Boston Herald– dated March 25, 2011.
“All but one New York City juror was in favor of acquitting Reese Hopkins of the most serious charge in his child rape trial — but the ex-WRKO yakker remained behind bars and in limbo as a judge mulled lowering his bail…”
Finally, I was freed on a lowered $20,000 bail and have been free since April 6, 2011.
The Following is a direct quote from an email I later received from a juror in my trial
From: ———-@aol.com <———-@aol.com>
Subject: Hi from Juror #-
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 9:29 PM
“I think the State has/had a lousy case and I can’t believe that they are thinking of bringing this case to trial again.”
Next – Part II – Anatomy Of A District Attorney’s Office