Family Rights Expert Won't Face Trial On Domestic Violence Charge
TAMPA - An expert on family rights who works as a forensic trial consultant in domestic-violence cases will not be prosecuted regarding allegations he shoved his estranged wife. The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office decided on Friday not to prosecute Dean Tong, 51, on charges of felony witness tampering and misdemeanor domestic violence, public records show. Prosecutors' records show the victim, Lily Marie Goodsell Tong, would not cooperate. Dean Tong said in a phone interview today that Lily Tong, who is his estranged wife, falsely accused him of throwing her into a door in January, causing bruises to her arm and leg.He said he was "ecstatic" not to be prosecuted but had hoped to go to trial to clear his name. "The weight of the evidence was always on my side," he said. "It's unfortunate the law and the system can be wielded as a weapon." An attempt to contact Lily Tong today was unsuccessful. Dean Tong said about a month before his January arrest, he made a settlement offer to his wife regarding a divorce, which she declined. Online court records show Lily Tong filed for divorce in March. The outcome of the divorce is pending. This is the second time Dean Tong said he has been falsely accused of abuse. According to his Web site, his ex-wife years ago accused him of sexually abusing his 3-year-old daughter; he was acquitted after 10 years of litigation.
Reporter Valerie Kalfrin can be reached at (813) 259-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.