An 18-year-old Murphysboro man was released from jail Tuesday after prosecutors dropped a child sex assault charge against him.
Joseph Romeo had spent approximately five months in jail in connection to one count of predatory sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13. Jackson County Jail staff confirmed he was released on Tuesday.
The state was prepared to go through with the prosecution, an attorney said, with “more than sufficient evidence to go forward.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Blomer said prosecutors discussed the case with the child’s family several times.
“After explaining everything the criminal process would entail — unfortunately it’s not a victim-friendly atmosphere — (the family) expressed that this is not what they want to do,” she said.
“Every case is a little different. In some cases we can’t be as reliant upon a victim’s wishes, but in this case we thought it was appropriate,” Blomer said.
That count was the only charge against Romeo in Jackson County.
He is expected to start his senior year of high school next week.
Romeo was arrested in April and pleaded not guilty on May 1. His bond was initially set at $100,000 but reduced to $50,000 on June 13.