Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge dismissed all charges against Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen on June 24, 2009. Smith, 52, and Allen, 56, had been convicted in 1994 of multiple charges related to the alleged rape of children in the Head Start program who rode the school bus driven by Smith.
Smith and Allen’s defense was the crimes did not occur. Justice Denied published an article about their case in Issue 29 (Summer 2005). Smith and Allen’s case was publicized by Canadian writer Lona Manning, and Cleveland private investigator Martin Yant pursued obtaining new evidence of their innocence. The Ohio Innocence Project also became involved in their case providing legal assistance.
On February 4, 2009 Judge Burge vacated the sentences of both Smith and Allen. Smith was immediately released on $100,000 bail. Allen was released on April 14 on $100,000 bail. Prosecutors vowed to return both to prison.
This is an article about Judge Burge’s dismissal of the charges.
This is a Youtube.com video of the hearing during which Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge dismissed the charges against Joseph Allen and Nancy Smith.
By Hans Sherrer