Local News

Child sex charges dropped against Willow Spring man

Posted November 21, 2014

— A Superior Court judge in Harnett County has dismissed child sex charges against a Willow Spring man accused this past summer of raping a child – accusations he says have destroyed his life.

Tommy Keith Wall was arrested June 24 on charges of first-degree rape of a child, first-degree sex offense against a child and felony conspiracy.

The charges were dropped Oct. 30, and Wall's name and personal information were removed from all court records. The reason, according to a dismissal statement obtained by WRAL News from Wall: "Further investigation revealed wrong person charged."

"I'm jobless, homeless, living with my mom, at 50 years old, just trying to put the pieces back together," Wall said Friday. "It's just been a train wreck. My life went from (having a reputation of) being a good person to being the worst person in the world. It was destroyed in 24 hours."

Wall said he sat in jail for weeks, confused; his hearings kept being postponed; and no one would give him much more information than the charges he faced.

"I had all the evidence proving that there was no way I could have done any of that," Wall said. "I'm more of a person that would help kids. I coached. I work with youth ministries, with prison ministries. It just didn't fit my lifestyle."

He had three attorneys before being assigned Fred Webb.

"We started digging into things that supported his side of the story," Webb said Friday.

What they found was that Wall was the victim of a case of mistaken identity that centered on video of a man who, like Wall, was also bald.

"The man had a bald head and a mole the size of a quarter on the top of his head," Wall said. "You know, that wasn't me."

"They had the wrong person," Webb, said. "Once the prosecution determined that's what occurred, they promptly issued a dismissal in the case."

Wall turned himself in to authorities within hours of investigators distributing video stills of him to the media that they found while investigating an alleged child pornography ring operated out of a Sanford day care. At least four people face charges in that case.

Wall has since lost his job of nearly 23 years and has been both financially and personally "devastated," Webb said.

Both blame investigators with the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, which declined to comment on the case Friday other than to say that they are still looking for the man they thought Wall to be.

Wall said he is considering legal action.

"The investigation should have been done a lot better," Webb said. "He has a big, big obstacle to overcome, because once you’ve been targeted and tainted with such a crime as this, it's going to follow you wherever you go."


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  • Fanny Chmelar Nov 24, 2014
    user avatar

    It's quite interesting to go to the previous articles about this and see people frothing at the mouth for this guy to be summarily drawn and quartered. Now they're sympathizing with him and think he should strike back and strike back hard (which he should).

  • 678devilish Nov 24, 2014

    God will bless you in many ways. I wish you the best.

  • John Smythe Nov 24, 2014
    user avatar

    Ok, so where did his picture come from that he turned himself in for? His picture was distributed, he turned himself in saying it was him in the picture, but then it wasn't him in a video? There are some parts of this entire story missing.

  • Nicolle Leney Nov 24, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The article also states that the video still picture was NOT of him. It was of a different man with a decent size mole on his head. Wall probably "turned himself in" because he knew he was innocent and expected to clear things up. I hope that some company sees this and recognizes a loyal worker -- 23 years.

    How does it take weeks to recognize that the guy in the picture has a big mole on his head, and this guy did not? I really hope this man can get his life back.

  • Fredrick Bimmell Nov 24, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Sorry to hear that you had to deal with with stuff like that. So did I, because of a twisted Ex with issues. I had to deal with false allegations, false charges, CPS investigations and Interact involvement ......... all because I file for divorce after catching my Ex in an affair.

  • John Smythe Nov 24, 2014
    user avatar

    I'm not sure I understand this entire story. The article states Wall turned himself in after his picture was distributed from a video still.

    "Wall turned himself in to authorities within hours of investigators distributing video stills of him to the media that they found while investigating an alleged child pornography ring operated out of a Sanford day care." WRAL

  • theliberadicator Nov 24, 2014

    He should sue every party involved. Starting with the police.

  • Thought Criminal WS Nov 24, 2014

    Sue sue sue.

    When I was wrongly arrested the several years ago for assault the ADA did not care and threatened to destroy my career, marr my rep with family and friends, and offered me a harsh please deal (rather forcefully). Despite knowing they had the wrong person within hours they still pushed for a plea of guilty and treated me abusively.

    Sue the bajeebus out of them for the harm they've done. You can't undo that type of damage.

  • babylaceycarpenter Nov 24, 2014

    His life is all but over. He should be rewarded with millions, before he sues for billions. His employer should lose his/her business license revoked. The detectives working this case, should be severely punished, if not fired.

  • Jack Miller Nov 24, 2014
    user avatar

    Wake County CPS did the same thing to me. The exception is that we give CPS TOTAL control without the need for a court order. No criminal charges etc. This type of thing happens to good fathers every day with ex-wives trying to gain an upper hand in custody cases. To be accused of the sickest thing someone can do....