Missouri prosecutors are in shock after Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce allowed a man who confessed to raping his 5-month-old daughter walk free – all on the grounds that he didn’t get a speedy trial. He was facing life in prison.

Aaron Michael Fisher’s public defender argued that he’d been incarcerated for entirely too long with no bail in a case that languished in the courts for an astounding six years. So long, in fact, that the public defender in question has since retired.

His new public defender agrees, however, and has said that Fisher only pleaded guilty back in 2009 to forcible sodomy because he was ‘frustrated with the legal system’.

Prosecutors argue that the defendant himself delayed the proceedings multiple times. They also claim that it was extremely difficult to coordinate the witnesses. It didn’t help matters any, according to former Prosecutor Matt Howard, that Cole County only has two circuit court judges; making trials difficult to schedule.

Fisher had confessed last year to sexually assaulting the young girl and pleaded guilty to the charge in exchange for a life sentence with the possibility of parole. Just a few months later, that all went away when he changed his mind and decided to sue for his freedom.

He’s now a free man just one month before he was to finally get that trial.

Current prosecutor Ben Winfrey is planning to appeal the judge’s decision, while Lake Ozark legislator Rocky Miller plans to prompt an investigation into the judge.