ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An assistant state attorney has been fired after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a victim in a case he was prosecuting, News 6 has learned.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney announced Wednesday that prosecutor Abraham Elmazahi was terminated following an internal investigation.
Due to that inappropriate relationship and untruthful statements reportedly made by the alleged victim during the investigation, the state attorney dropped all criminal charges against the defendant, records obtained by News 6 show.
"This conduct is appalling and in no way represents the vision or mission of the State Attorney,” Ayala said in a statement Wednesday.
Elmazahi did not answer the door when a News 6 reporter stopped by Wednesday night and he has not returned multiple phone calls seeking comment.
Authorities arrested John Neal in September 2019 after his ex-wife accused him of domestic violence, court records indicate.
Neal pleaded not guilty to the charges and adamantly denied he harmed his ex-wife.
“It’s been a lie since the very beginning,” Neal said.
News 6 is not identifying the ex-wife since she claims to be a domestic violence victim and she has not been charged with a crime in this matter.
While awaiting trial, Neal said he became suspicious of statements his ex-wife reportedly made about her living arrangements.
So Neal contacted a private investigator, Matthew Rose with Rose International, who discovered the ex-wife had registered her vehicle at an Orlando address associated with Elmazahi.
Earlier this month, Rose captured photos of the prosecutor leaving the home.
About an hour later the private investigator said he photographed Neal's ex-wife exiting the home and driving off in her Mercedes.
Neal’s attorney, Mark Bender, showed the photographs to supervisors at the State Attorney’s Office.
"It's just a staggering display of deceit," Bender told News 6. "This is more than just an innocent act. She moved in with him."
Bender was particularly troubled that, after his client's arrest, Elmazahi filed nine additional criminal charges accusing Neal of violating a domestic violence injunction.
The prosecutor also unsuccessfully tried to get Neal's bond revoked, court records show.
“I can see them talking about how they can screw Mr. Neal even further,” said Bender, who speculates that Elmazahi colluded with the alleged victim to harm his client. “I was aghast.”
When the supervisor of the state attorney's domestic violence unit questioned the alleged victim about her relationship with Elmazahi, she denied visiting the prosecutor's home and claimed she was living at a domestic violence shelter, records obtained by News 6 show.
However, the alleged victim reportedly admitted to registering her vehicle at Elmazahi's address.
As a result of that relationship and the alleged victim's untruthfulness, prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against Neal, records show.
“I’m just shocked that somebody in his position would do what he has done, and I’m shocked she would do this to avoid paying child support,” Neal said.