Controversy has swirled around Rachel Rittenhouse, a Denver lawyer charged with murder after allegedly stabbing an Oklahoma boy to death when the boy’s father took her to do a forced abortion. The case is so hot that the Oklahoma state attorney general is calling it an example of “malicious prosecution.”
He’s responding to Oklahoma senator, Mike Mazzei, who points to that controversial case in his new bill, Kyle’s Law.
“If you think Mr. Mazzei and the Oklahoma public are going to wait for any further court proceedings for our friend, David Rittenhouse, we can’t help but wonder if he’s been called on by the false charges against him,” he wrote in the bill’s summary. “We want to be sure that David, his daughter Rachel, and unborn child will have every opportunity to make their case to a judge, jury, and innocent man.”
Mazzei’s bill, SB 2860, which was passed by the Senate on Wednesday but needs to pass the House, is meant to help victims of “malicious prosecution.”
The law will allow cases in which victims and witnesses are “wrongfully arrested or wrongfully charged,” which could include “child neglect, embezzlement, theft, assault or battery, and false imprisonment.”
Mazzei told Fox News on Friday that “it’s so unfair” that Rittenhouse is still in jail while prosecutors assess her fate. He also said that he’s talked to witnesses at the scene and they, too, want to “get justice.”
“We want to be clear, they’re not talking about making any changes in law, they’re talking about making sure that it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Rittenhouse could end up pleading guilty to second-degree murder and be sentenced to a term of between seven and 12 years in prison. Should that happen, Rittenhouse would be able to work toward having her record expunged.
Mazzei is trying to get the bill passed in time to allow Rittenhouse to go before a judge early next week for a plea hearing.
He hopes that could lead to Rachel taking the stand, as she allegedly told police the victim was stabbed because of a “communication breakdown.”
“One of the most common mistakes people make is when they hire someone to do a job without talking about communication breakdowns prior to the job,” he said. “‘(This is) very often what happens in child custody cases, and they have parenting sessions prior to the parent-child setting, but the routine is not what is being told to them. They can be kept up to date through open communication and the record can be wiped clean.”
Rachel’s name has been dropped from the bill.
“Even if she doesn’t take the stand, you still have that testimony there,” Mazzei said. “And if her testimony then goes against the mother, that’s not something they want to deal with.”
If approved, the law could also protect Alex Barroso, who Mazzei said has “no real contact” with Rachel.
Despite Mazzei’s bill being successful on Wednesday, he and others are trying to lobby lawmakers to add Rachel Rittenhouse to the list of the law’s offenses, just as the bill currently is.
“This new crime classification, ‘malicious prosecution,’ basically means that Rachel has the right to take the stand in court, have the truth be known,” he said. “She’s already been denied that, but if we can get that changed, then this bill’s credibility wouldn’t be in question.”