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New Orleans prosecutors have refused charges against three local Marines and a recent Tulane University graduate who were accused of raping two women at an Uptown residence after a night of drinking.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office said Wednesday it will not bring charges against Jared Anderson, Alexander Davenport, Matthew Farrell or Antonio Landrum, all of whom have been free on bail.

Spokesman Ken Daley said prosecutors gave "careful consideration" to the evidence gathered by the New Orleans Police Department.

“In addition, our sex crime screeners thoroughly evaluated the statements provided to police by all parties involved in the events of April 15, and those given to prosecutors in several follow-up interviews," he said. "Based upon these factors and the stated desires of the complainants, it was determined these charges should be refused.”

Police had originally alleged that the four men were involved in a tangled chain of events that began at The Boot, a popular student bar near Tulane’s campus, and ended at a residence on South Claiborne Avenue.

There, police were later told, Landrum, 19, had sex with two women at the same time — though only one, who was visiting the home, would later say she consented. He was booked on third-degree rape.

Anderson, 19, had sex with both women in different rooms — but only the woman who lived at the home said she consented. He was booked on first-degree rape. 

Davenport, 20, and Farrell, 22, were accused of raping both women. They were booked on first-degree rape.

The case against the man appeared to falter in June, when lead Detective Anya Coleman testified at a preliminary hearing about parts of her investigation that were not revealed in arrest warrants.

One of the two women had texted a roommate in the midst of the alleged assaults to say that “everything was fine.” The other woman declined to undergo a sexual assault examination, Coleman said.

The three Marines — Landrum, Davenport and Anderson — went to a PJ’s Coffee Shop on the Tulane campus the next morning with one of the women.

Coleman also said she was confused by the timeline of the events inside the residence as related to her by the women.

Defense attorneys said the hearing showed that prosecutors could not prove the case against their clients to a jury. However, the case lingered until the DA made a formal decision to refuse charges on Wednesday.

Defense lawyers praised the decision.

“This is a very serious allegation, and it was taken seriously by all parties involved,” said Craig Mordock, who represents Davenport. “The District Attorney’s Office did a thorough investigation of the matter. They reached the right conclusion, and we appreciate their diligence in doing the right thing.”

Mordock said his client remains a lance corporal in the Marines. He described the military branch as being “very supportive.”

Defense lawyer Roger Jordan, who represented Anderson, also praised the DA's Office, while expressing disappointment that police booked his client in the first place.

“As revealed at the preliminary hearing, the facts of this case clearly showed that this was not a rape. Regret and bad decisions do not equal rape. I’m glad that all parties can now move beyond this and get on with their lives,” he said.

Jordan, who handled rape cases when he was a prosecutor, said he worried the case would discourage some victims from going to the police.

“What about that real rape victim who sees this refusal? Does this somehow make them pause? That’s unfortunate, too,” he said. “I think the Police Department, they have an obligation, if they’re going to make an arrest, to do it on probable cause, and sufficient probable cause.”

"The police work was a joke in this case," said James Williams, who represented Landrum. "Antonio was the victim in this case, and what he expects from the woman who falsely accused him is an apology. And unless she does that, it’s our intention to use the legal system to get an apology."


Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.