Judge: Charges may be dropped due to detective’s lies



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A man accused of molesting a child and possession of child pornography could go free after a judge in Florida found that a detective lied to obtain a search warrant in the case.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Circuit Judge William Burgess III found Pinellas County Sheriff’s detective Michael Alvarez engaged in a “ruse” to obtain a search warrant for a crime used to obtain evidence to prosecute for other crimes.

Burgess concluded the “likely effect of this order” is that charges against 63-year-old James Rybicki will be dismissed.

Rybicki was arrested following a 2016 search of his home. Detectives found videos of him inappropriately touching a child.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the detective left the department two years ago.

Defense attorney Lucas Fleming called the judge’s decision “extraordinary.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast