Prosecutors have dropped a rape case against a 20-year-old man because the victim could not be located.
Romellow Devon Bigday, 20, was charged in September with aggravated sexual intercourse without consent and felony drug possession.
Officers responded to the 1400 block of Sixth Avenue North shortly after midnight Sept. 16 after being told by a caller that a woman was in distress. Officers found Bigday near a parking lot entrance, lying on top of a 37-year-old woman, who began crying and thanking police for saving her when they arrived, according to charges.
On Wednesday, Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Jacob Yerger filed a motion to dismiss the case without prejudice. Yerger wrote that the state was unable to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and told The Billings Gazette that his office could not locate the victim.
“Her testimony would have been necessary to prove this case at trial,” Yerger said.
Yerger said the woman had ties to Big Horn County and was living in Billings at the time of the alleged rape, but that her current city of residence is unknown. Attempts to reach her were unsuccessful. Yerger believed the woman was transient.
The woman told police she had been walking when Bigday whistled at her from behind and made verbal advances. She said she did not know Bigday and told him to leave her alone, even attempting to hide from him behind apartment buildings.
She said she did not remember how the two ended up on the ground but that Bigday covered her mouth while raping her and she was afraid he would cause her to lose consciousness.
Bigday told police he had known the woman for roughly a month, according to charges. He admitted he thought she was afraid of him but said he didn't know why. He was unable to explain how the two got onto the ground or why the woman's pants were halfway down, charges state.