Dustin Toth says he isn’t asking for much. He just wants a job so he can pay his rent and make monthly payments on his truck and cell phone.
Toth, 25, was falsely accused last November of kidnapping Katherine Bennett, 20, at knife point and sexually assaulting her in Windsor.
Before the news came out that Bennett made up the story, Toth lost his job with a company in Fort Collins, and he hasn’t been able to find work since.
“I’m actually more frustrated now than I have ever been,” Toth said. “I’m not a felon. I don’t have a record. I just want to get back in the workforce, at least $12 an hour. I am motivated to do anything.”
In the past, Toth worked with temp agency to find jobs and landed positions with Larimer County as a computer tech for five months and a Fort Collins company for six months where he was making $10.50 per hour. He was on the verge of getting a job with a furniture business as a delivery driver, but he said they told him they wouldn’t hire him because of the arrest. Toth said he’s not allowed to enter the building at his earlier job with the Fort Collins company to explain his situation.
He said temp agency asked him to send them paperwork in December to verify that the charges were dropped.
“I sent it to them. They told me they were going to do something and they haven’t done anything,” Toth said. “They told me they would help me and get me a job, but they said they have nothing for me and I haven’t heard anything since. They pretty much have dropped me.”
Fort Collins authorities arrested Bennett on Dec. 10 on a Windsor police warrant. Bennett told officers that Toth had kidnapped her from the Windsor Safeway parking lot in November, held her at knife point, took her to his home and raped her before agreeing to let her go the following morning.
Those allegations were proven untrue, according to an arrest affidavit. As a result of the false statements, Toth was arrested and jailed and has suffered great personal hardship and embarrassment, police said.
In January, a judge granted Bennett a two-month continuance so her attorney could further evaluate the evidence in her case, including a number of unspecified medical records. The judge also allowed Bennett, who appeared on bond, to return to Illinois so she can be with her family and continue an undisclosed form of therapy.
Bennett is charged with attempting to influence a public servant. She remains free on bond, and her next court appearance in Greeley is scheduled for March 28.
Toth, who has been cleared of any wrongdoing, previously said he planned to sue Bennett, but he’s been told by several attorneys that he would need to come up with $25,000 to proceed with the civil suit. Toth said he doesn’t even have enough money, which he was told would be a $30 court fee, to seal the arrest on his court records.
“I have a winning case, but nobody’s going to take it,” said Toth, who was recently promoted as a sergeant in the Army National Guard in Fort Lupton, where he reports for training exercises one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year.
Toth said the only contact he wants from Bennett is for her to write a letter of apology saying why she did it.
Bennett previously asked for her $20,000 bond to be reduced and said she had no prior criminal history or even a speeding ticket. A judge denied that request and she has since paid the bond.
Toth said he just wants the opportunity to prove himself to an employer.
“I’ve been trying to find jobs that I’ve done in the past,” Toth said. “I’m looking for something that will be able to support me and give me the stability that I had before.”