Bennington prosecutor placed on administrative leave

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BENNINGTON >> A Bennington County prosecutor has been placed on administrative leave.

State's Attorney Erica Marthage said earlier this week that Chief Deputy State's Attorney Christina Rainville was put on administrative leave, but she would not say why, citing it as a personnel matter.

Attempts to reach Rainville for comment have been unsuccessful.

Rainville has been responsible for prosecuting sex crimes filed by the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office, and other high-profile cases. Recently, she worked to bring technology to the Bennington court house that would allow witnesses to testify remotely, from another room.

In 2011, a decision written by federal Judge Paul Diamond, in the U.S. District Court for the Easter District of Pennsylvania, was critical of Rainville's testimony during an evidentiary hearing.

"Reluctantly, I find that significant portions of Ms. Rainville's testimony at the October 29th hearing were not credible. Now practicing in Vermont, in 1997 Ms. Rainville was a partner in the law firm that continues to represent Petitioner. It was apparent from Ms. Rainville's testimony, her often embarrassed, defensive demeanor, and related evidence that because she understood neither the record in this case nor the requirement that Petitioner act promptly, she did not promptly seek habeas relief for McFarlane. To avoid these unfortunate facts, Ms. Rainville offered testimony that was often contradictory, incorrect, or demonstrably false," reads the decision.

McFarlane refers to Robert McFarlane, a man convicted of murder, and other charges, in 1994. Rainville was representing him on an appeal.

— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115


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