News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, June 19, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- She was accused of raping and providing alcohol and drugs to her 18-year-old babysitter.
Caroline Neal's attorney is officially announcing a plea deal exclusively to News 12.
Weeks after attorney Joe Neal Jr. accepted a plea deal, wiping away tears in a lurid rape trial, Neal's ex-wife prepares for her day in court.
"In the near future, maybe in the next three or four weeks," said Attorney Pete Theodocion. "Caroline will be in court, and she is going to enter a guilty plea to one count of furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age."
Like her ex-husband, what started as a charge of rape and providing alcohol and drugs to an 18-year-old babysitter is now reduced to a misdemeanor.
"It's a done deal," Theodocion said. "There will be no trial. I can promise you that."
Her attorney says she has regrets.
"We all have a lot of regrets whenever our lives take a turn for the worse," Theodocion said. "If she could do it over again, I am sure she would. I think she probably regrets the day she stepped foot in Richmond County. She doesn't feel she committed a crime against the accuser here. I can assure you of that."
Some questioned if a female could even be indicted on charges of raping another female.
"Yes," Theodocion said. "You could get a female on this type of charge, but not in this case. The evidence just didn't support it. Everyone knew it from the start."
Her ex-husband's family put it in a different way.
"This has put the family through hell," said Christian Steinmetz, Mr. Neal's brother-in-law. "This has really put the family through hell because it's a bulls*%3t case."
The Neals will avoid jail, but the ordeal was too much for the marriage. Mrs. Neal was arrested for accidentally shutting her ex-husband's head in a door.
"What comes of those charges?" we asked Theodocion.
"I'm not at liberty to say," he replied. "I can say that I don't think you'll be hearing much about those in the near future."
Theodocion says he plans to make that plea deal in court no later than next month. He will recommend one year's probation and perhaps a fine of more than $300.