January 8, 2005

Man Acquitted Of Kidnapping, Raping Ex-Fiancée

Jury deliberated 9 hours over 2 days

Accused of kidnapping and raping his ex-fiancée at knife point, an Archbald man was acquitted of all charges Friday by a Lackawanna County jury.

After more than seven months behind bars because he could not make bail, the defendant walked out of the Lackawanna County Prison on Friday afternoon a free man.

“No! No! No!” his accuser cried as she slumped over in the courtroom’s gallery as the verdict was read. The assistant district attorney took the sobbing 23-year-old Olyphant woman by the arm and led her from the courtroom. Her family followed.

“There may be some who obviously disagree with your verdict,” the judge told the jury, his rich baritone competing with the screams and cries of the woman in the hallway. “Your job is not to be popular. Your job is to follow the law.”

The woman’s father had to be restrained when he tried to re-enter the courtroom. The assistant district attorney wiped tears from her eyes as she left the courtroom.

The seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated nine hours over Thursday and Friday before reaching its verdict.
The woman’s version was that the defendant walked into her unlocked home uninvited, kidnapped her at knifepoint, made her drive to his apartment, and raped her.

A knife with a 9-inch blade and a brass-knuckle handle matching the woman’s description was found in the defendant’s car.

“My client was falsely accused,” his lawyer, Patrick M. Rogan, said afterward. “I’m happy for my client. He deserves his liberty.”

The Scranton Times, January 8, 2005