A court clerk's oversight that allowed the release of a rape suspect who later fled the country was the result of a "mistake" and was not evidence of a systemic problem, the chief justice of the highest court in Massachusetts said Monday.
Frederick Amfo, an Uber driver charged with raping a passenger, was released on bail without being required to surrender his passport because of "confusion" in the Quincy District Court clerk's office, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants told The Patriot Ledger.
Gants met with court staff Monday as part of a previously scheduled visit.
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Amfo, 30, posted $10,000 bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment on April 13 and was given 24 hours to surrender his passport, but instead fled to his native Ghana, court officials have said.
It appears an employee in the clerk's office confused the protocol for people who are released on personal recognizance with the protocol for people who are required to post bail, Gants said.
The state's court system has since clarified the protocols.
"It was a mistake that was made, so we wanted to make sure there was clarification," Gants said.
Amfo was charged with raping a woman on April 8 as he drove her from Quincy to her home in Weymouth.
That woman, who has spoken publicly about the case, has called for a formal investigation into bail procedures.
Massachusetts law enforcement agencies say they are working to bring Amfo back to the U.S.