Child sex charges dropped against Willow Spring man
Posted November 21, 2014
Lillington, N.C. — 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."