A judge said there will be no new trial for Christopher Wood, seen in court in November 2010.
Melbourne, Florida (FL TODAY) -- A judge said he believes a man serving 50 years for kidnapping and raping his now-ex-wife filed the false affidavit in which she allegedly recanted her story.
In a related court order, 18th Circuit Judge Robert Burger also denied Christoper Wood, 35, a new trial after a series of hearings related to the document.
Wood was found guilty in 2007 of sexual battery and kidnapping of his wife in what he claimed was a consensual adult video that they planned to market as "Rape Island."
In the recent court hearings, the ex-wife said she never wrote she was changing her story. A notary from Largo whose name was on the document said she did not sign it.
"(Wood) may not have had access to a typewriter to actually type the document himself, but the evidence demonstrates that a copy of the notary seal traveled from (the notary) to (a fellow inmate) to the defendant, and then ended up on the fake affidavit," Burger wrote. "By filing this fraudulent document, the defendant has wasted the valuable time and resources of the court and the state."
Acting on a motion filed by the state attorney's office, he also found that Wood brought false information to the court and forwarded his order to the Florida Department of Corrections for "appropriate disciplinary proceedings."
An investigator assigned to the case found Wood, who represented himself in the hearings, had been helping another inmate with legal paperwork at the Santa Rosa prison. According to the investigator, the affidavit in question was signed by the same notary whose signature and seal were on some of the other inmate's documents.
"Whether it was copied by (Wood) or he simply took the last page of another filing with the notary's stamp, we will never know," prosecutor Julia Lynch said.
"We have been saying from day one that this is a false affidavit. He is determined to abuse the court process in any manner until he is stopped."
In the trial, prosecutors said Wood kidnapped his then-wife, took her to a wooded area west of Interstate 95 in north Brevard, tied her up and raped her while filming the incident.
The current round of hearings began Nov. 17, when Judge Jack Griesbaum removed himself from the case, citing malicious claims against him and his family by Wood.
In court, the ex-wife denied repeatedly she had anything to do with the affidavit. A previous filing asking for a new trial was denied before Wood filed the motion that included the false affidavit.
Wood's friends and relatives think he is innocent. They showed up in court to support him and have started a website to proclaim his innocence. Mary Ellen Ditto, an aunt who lives in Michigan, has spearheaded the campaign.
"I believe what he is saying," she has said previously.
Prosecutors, of course, do not see it that way.
"The victim in this case was victimized once again," Lynch said of the ex-wife being compelled again to speak in court.
Burger was also critical of another motion filed by Wood for return of property, including items used to abuse the victim and the clothes she was wearing at the time of the attack.
Kaustuv Basu, Florida Today