Earlier this month, a 44-year-old man was acquitted of forcible rape in connection with an incident last year. The jury unanimously acquitted the man after a two-day trial that was largely based on testimony from the alleged victim and the defendant.
According to the accuser, she, her father and brother another man and the defendant drove back from a wedding in Baton Rouge. The rape allegedly took place after the defendant entered the woman’s home with her. She claims he pushed her down and raped her after she came out of the bathroom. But according to the defendant’s attorney, the woman changed her story, and evidence on her body was not consistent with her accusations.
The defendant’s attorney argued that the police work done during investigation of the case was shoddy. Once the jury looked over the evidence, it took an hour to determine that the man was not guilty.
According to a spokesman for Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, rape cases involving a question of consent are difficult to win. There is a good reason for this. It is critical that charges of rape be fully supported by the evidence, and that they meet the legal standard for conviction. When there is a reasonable doubt presented in the evidence, a not guilty verdict must be delivered.
It is imperative that those accused of rape build a strong defense early on in the process. Doing so will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome, even if an acquittal is not in the picture.
Source: NOLA.com, “New Orleans man acquitted on post-wedding rape charge,” John Simerman, December 11, 2012