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After hung jury, second proceeding ongoing for man in sex assault case

Sep 3, 2015 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The man is charged with the rape of his cousin last year.

A second trial for an Arapahoe man charged with sexually assaulting his cousin is under way this week in Lander District Court. He had a trial in July but the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

The defendant and alleged victim are biological cousins, but they grew up in the same household for a time and lived as siblings. Although the defendant was named in court records, and the alleged victim named at trial, it is Ranger policy not to publish information that could tend to identify victims of sexual assault incest.

Prosecutors have finished presenting their main case, and the defense is calling its witnesses testify.

The defendant himself took the stand in the current trial on Sept. 3 as he had in his first trial as well. He gave a similar account as he had before.

The defendant said he was at another cousin's house with two friends drinking beer at about 3 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2014. The alleged victim also was present, the defendant said.

The defendant decided to drive to the home of a friend, and he asked the alleged victim if she wanted to go as well.

She rode with the defendant and his friend in his 1997 Jeep Rubicon. After dropping the friend off at the All Nations Trailer Park, the defendant drove to an area near the Rendezvous Ponds on East Monroe Avenue while on the way back to the cousin's house, where he had been drinking, the defendant said. He parked his vehicle, and he and the alleged victim had consensual sex, the defendant said

Investigators believe the defendant drove to the ponds area and forced himself on the alleged victim before she was able to escape and run away.

On cross examination, deputy Fremont County attorney Ember Oakley sought to cast doubt on the defendant's version of events by attacking the defendant's credibility.

She brought up inconsistent accounts he has given about details of his story.

In one instance, Oakley pointed out the defendant said at the current trial he "just pulled over" at the Rendezvous Ponds area, but East Monroe was not on the direct route between his friend's home and his cousin's.

After the defense finishes presenting its witnesses, the prosecution will have a chance to call rebuttal witnesses before both side give closing arguments and the jury begins to deliberate.

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