Sexual abuse charges dropped in Worth County case

NORTHWOOD — Sexual abuse charges against a Joice man have been dismissed. 20-year-old Carlos Morales was charged last month with third-degree sexual abuse after authorities allegedly identified him through DNA evidence as a man who performed sexual acts on a woman who was passed out in a car in May of 2017.

Online court records show the Worth County Attorney’s Office submitted a motion on Tuesday to dismiss the case, saying that the victim did not want to testify due to medical reasons, and the nurse who completed the sexual assault kit in the case cannot be located. Prosecutors say they had to make the motion because they were not able to submit testimony outlining the sexual assault actions perpetrated by the defendant and it resulted in a large hole in the chain of custody of the sexual assault kit.

District Judge Rustin Davenport approved the dismissal of the case on Tuesday and ordered the state to pay all court costs.