Jury Acquits Step-Father of Multiple Statutory Rape Charges
Jury Acquits Step-Father of Multiple Statutory Rape Charges A Kirksville man was acquitted by a Lafayette County, Missouri jury in April 2003 of twelve (12) counts of statutory rape and statutory sodomy of his step-daughter, following a three-day trial in Lexington, Missouri. Kirksville attorney Jay Benson represented the man in all legal proceedings, including the trial.
The man was charged by Indictment of a Saline County, Missouri grand jury, shortly after he and the girl’s mother separated. The step-daughter claimed that her step-father had sexual relations with her over a period of three years while the girl’s mother was at work. When first interrogated by police, the step-father denied the charges; he entered a not guilty plea at his initial arraignment, and he proclaimed his innocence throughout the criminal proceedings.
A physical examination of the step-daughter was conducted by a physician retained by the State of Missouri, which resulted in findings allegedly consistent with sexual abuse. Defendant’s attorney, Jay Benson, consulted with and retained a Chicago, Illinois OB-GYN, who disagreed with the State’s medical evidence and testified at trial that the findings were not consistent with sexual abuse.
After closing arguments by the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney and Jay Benson, the jury retired to deliberate, and after a short deliberation, returned its “Not Guilty” verdict on each of the twelve (12) counts.