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This is what happens when you decide to be your own lawyer.
While representing himself in a court of law, a man accused of rape tried to use his own perceived attractiveness as a defense.
Izell Lewis, 26, of San Rafael, California, stands accused of raping an acquaintance at the Corte Madera Town Center, where he worked as a part-time boxing instructor at Bay Club Marin, the Marin Independent Journal reports. Lewis’ accuser, who also worked at the mall, alleges that Lewis sexually assaulted her after luring her into a secluded stairwell at the mall. Lewis has since pleaded not guilty to charges of forcible rape and rape by a foreign object. When acting as his own lawyer on Thursday, Lewis told Judge Andrew Sweet that he could not have committed such a crime because “I’m a good-looking guy” and the woman accusing him “is 300 pounds, no exaggeration.”
In deciding to act as his own lawyer, Lewis essentially threw away the work done by his court-appointed lawyer Michael Coffino, SFGATE reports. Coffino had previously prepared a motion to have the case dismissed, calling attention to the fact that the accuser first told police that the rape occurred on July 27, but later claimed that it happened on July 13.
“In an act of extraordinary ineptitude, the prosecution applied for a search warrant (at defense request) to obtain the Snapchat evidence but used the wrong offense date, making the warrant useless,” Coffino wrote.
In court on Thursday, Judge Sweet allowed Lewis to act as his own lawyer when defending himself in regards to both cases, but not without commenting, “This is a terrible idea.”
The Marin Independent Journal reports that Lewis has also been charged in a separate case with exposing himself to a female Uber driver and masturbating in front of her. The Uber incident is said to have occurred last month while he was free on $10,000 bail following the rape allegations. Lewis pleaded not guilty to charges of lewdness and obstructing arrest, claiming that he couldn’t have exposed himself to the Uber driver because he was babysitting that day and does not have the Uber app on his phone.
Judge Sweet denied Lewis’ request to be released on his own recognizance, the Marin Independent Journal reports, and set bail at $170,000. Lewis is due back in court next week, where he could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison if convicted of the rape charges, and may face additional jail time if convicted of misdemeanor charges.
(Photo: Close-up of a gavel in a courtroom. By Tetra Images/Getty Images)