James Lee Saltmarshall broke down in court during his arraignment, hearing the charges brought against him. The 22-year-old Black man was charged in Detroit, Michigan for allegedly beating his 8-month-old daughter, Janiyah, and causing the tearing of her rectum from sexual assault. His daughter died on April 23, 2017 and the victim, James Lee Saltmarshall, was not allowed to attend the funeral, let alone know where his daughter was buried.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy dismissed ALL charges: first-degree child abuse and first-degree criminal sexual conduct as well as felony murder. In an official statement, she said it was, “in the best interest of justice.” The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, taking almost two months after the death of Saltmarshall’s daughter Janiyah, ruled the death an accident.
However, the damage has already been done. Saltmarshall’s name and mugshot have been plastered and spread all throughout the Internet with the allegations of him beating and raping his baby daughter.
Throughout the case, Saltmarshall maintained his innocence. His attorney, Lillian Diallo, stated, “They should have never brought charges; never, ever, ever. There was no evidence of sexual assault; there was no evidence of a skull fracture; there was no evidence of a shaken baby syndrome; there was no evidence at all behind the charges.”
The prosecution office released this
“After an extensive investigation and based upon the June 16, 2017 report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner, it has been determined that the cause of death of the child was asphyxia and the manner of death was determined to be an accident. Mr. Saltmarshall and his daughter were determined to have slept adjacent to each other on an adult sized bed and upon waking Mr. Saltmarshall found the child unresponsive.”
Diallo revealed Saltmarshall wasn’t ready to speak publicly and is “sad” and in need of counseling. She supported these claims, breaking down the situation, “How do you get rid of the smear? There are people who will believe it forever and ever.” She continued, “It’s on the Internet…that he’s a baby rapist and the murderer of his child, so everything else is just a footnote.”
The justice system yet again fails another Black man.