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Bloomington rape case dismissed

A rape case was dismissed Aug. 23 because a crucial witness couldn't be found for the trial.

The trial was scheduled to start Monday. Judge Marc Kellams of the Monroe County Circuit Court dismissed the case "without prejudice," meaning it could be refiled later if new evidence emerges. 

Eugene Ellis, 43, of Bloomington, was charged with rape and criminal confinement in September 2017, according to Bloomington Police. A 17-year-old girl’s mother told police Ellis raped her daughter. 

The girl’s mother took her to the hospital for a rape kit shortly after reporting the assault, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The state filed the motion to dismiss the case Aug. 22 because they couldn’t locate a crucial witness and therefore wouldn’t be able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, Monroe County deputy prosecutor Jeff Kehr said in an email. 

Ellis, who had been in the Monroe County Jail since Sept. 21, 2017, was released Sunday after the dismissal. During his 11 months in jail, Ellis sent nine handwritten letters to the court about his case. He formatted many of these letters like court documents and tried to file motions and make requests. He addressed letters to the "court clerk," Kellams or Judge Ken Todd, who was not involved in the case. 

Because he was represented by a public defender, Patrick Schrems, the court did not respond to these requests. In May of this year, Ellis requested and was granted a different public defender. Schrems was replaced by Stuart Baggerly.  

A protection order, granted to the alleged victim in September 2017, is still in place and prevents Ellis from contacting her.

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