Backstreet Boys star will not be charged with rape

September 12, 2018
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Backstreet Boys star Nick Carter will not be charged over an allegation that he raped singer Melissa Schuman in 2003, prosecutors in Los Angeles have said.

Schuman – who wrote a blog post earlier this year to publicly accuse Carter of raping her at his Santa Monica apartment while they were working on a TV film together – filed her claim with police last month.

The 33-year-old – best known for being part of the all-girl teen band Dream – had written in her blog that she was 18 and a virgin at the time of the alleged attack, which Carter denied had taken place.

 Melissa Schuman alleges Carter raped her in 2003
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Melissa Schuman alleges Carter raped her in 2003

His lawyer said he felt vindicated that no charges would be brought against him, with the statute of limitations for prosecution having expired in 2013.

“Nick has denied these allegations ever since he first learned of them last year, and was confident the district attorney would conclude that there was no basis to pursue charges against him,” Michael Holtz said in a statement.

“He is happy to put this matter behind him.”

The charge evaluation worksheet stated that, because the statute of limitations had passed, “an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence is not warranted and the matter is declined”.

Carter (second left) with band mates Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean and Brian Litrell
Image:
Carter (second left) with band mates Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean and Brian Littrell

California scrapped its statute of limitations for rape in 2016, and Schuman told the Associated Press it was unfortunate that the state had not made the move retroactively to accommodate victims like her.

She admitted she was “well aware of the likelihood that my case was not prosecutable”, but that it had still provided her with “great solace” to know that her case had been documented by law enforcement.

“Speaking out was the best thing I could have ever done for myself,” she said.

“I hope it inspires others to do the same if it feels right for them.”

Harvey Weinstein and attorney Benjamin Brafman exit State Supreme Court, June 5, 2018 in New York City. Weinstein pleaded not guilty on two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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The allegations against Carter were made in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal

In her February blog post, titled “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody”, Schuman said she had decided to come forward after seeing an allegation against Carter from another woman last October.

She was the latest in a long line of women to accuse high-profile men of sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which sparked the worldwide #MeToo movement.

Carter, 38, said at the time he was “shocked and saddened” by the allegations made in the blog, which saw his supporters use the hashtag #IStandWithNickCarter to claim the accusations against him were fake.

He and his fellow Backstreet Boys have gained a legion of fans since the group formed in 1993, and have since become one the most popular boy bands of all-time with more than 100 million records sold.



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