Cases dismissed against sex offender who held victims prisoner

A convicted sex offender accused of a list of new crimes ranging from sex trafficking to rape and holding his victims prisoner  is free tonight.

On Monday a judge dismissed the case involving Durand Robert Winfield.  And the big question is why?

Even the suspect's client Ben Gonek was shocked that the case was dropped, saying in a statement:

"Given the fact that the client was facing a minimum of 50 years if convicted, I am happy the charges have been dismissed and he was released.  If FOX 2 finds out why the charges were dismissed I would love to know."

On Monday Brian Ware just learned Winfield is now a free man.

"Wow," he said.

Winfield let Ware and his girlfriend stay at his house on Balfour in Detroit last February. Then police say he proceeded to lock them in a room and held them prisoner for weeks.

Winfield is accused of assaulting Ware and raping his girlfriend. He threatened to kill them both if they left.

"He tried to murder me," Ware said. " He had me on the ground one hand around my neck. He fired two shots next to my head. He raped my baby mother multiple times. 

"Wow and they still let him go."

Winfield is a convicted sex offender, who according to police reports, also victimized a 16-year-old runaway last January.

Winfield brought her back to the same house. He injected her with drugs, assaulted her, forced her to have sex with him and multiple other men, he met and organized through Facebook. 

He would then post inappropriate pictures of her online and held her prisoner until one day she escaped and called for help.

Winfield was arrested and charged with more than 10 felonies until Monday when the judge dismissed the cases.

"My son is a good person, my son never hurt anyone," said the suspect's mother. "These females saying stuff about my son, they are all lying."

Winfield's mother was in court Monday when the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office asked the judge to dismiss the cases. A spokeswoman tells FOX 2, the victims refused to testify.

But FOX 2 discovered that was not the case.

FOX 2: "Just to be clear, you never dropped this case, you never said you would not testify."

"I never said that," Ware said. "I never said that I wouldn't testify, I never said we were dropping the case."

Ware claims he and his girlfriend had trouble making it to the last court date because of transportation. But they were planning to testify at the trial at the end of August. 

He says he had no idea the case was dropped. FOX 2 was unable to track down the 16-year-old.

Ware can't help but fear what will happen next..

Winfield, who is considered very dangerous, has now been released.

"Oh wow, hysterical very upset," Ware said.

Wayne County Prosecutor's Office contacted FOX 2 late Monday evening. A spokesperson said they did speak with three people very familiar with the case they claim they have subpoened, called and wrote all of the victims but they chose not to prosecute.

The case was dismissed without prejudice, so it can be brought back and the charges can be refiled if everyone is willing to testify.


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