Roger Lewis Jr. was found not guilty on one rape charge, with a mistrial declared on another, after a jury spent all day Thursday on its deliberations.
Lewis was charged with two counts of rape, but the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on the second count. The count pertained to the Jan. 6, 2012, incident, where Lewis was accused of raping a classmate in the back of her vehicle.
As Common Pleas Judge Richard Berens read the jury’s not guilty verdict, celebrations erupted from Lewis’ family. Lewis sat in between his attorneys, Lewis Williams and Neil Rosenberg, in disbelief.
While pleased with the jury’s not guilty verdict, the attorneys agreed Lewis still is not free to move on with his life.
“His life is still on hold,” Williams said. “It has been on hold since the indictment.”
Lewis’ attorneys advised their client not to speak with media.
Before the verdict was read, Berens asked the jurors one final time if they could reach an agreement on the Jan. 6 count. The jury foreman said they could not.
If found guilty, Lewis could have faced 11 years in prison for each count. Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx said the prosecution intends to explore all of its options, including a retrial.
“We are not deterred one iota,” Marx said. “We are confident in our victim and believe her a hundred times.”
Lewis was accused of raping a classmate twice; once in the back of her vehicle on Jan. 6, 2012, and once in a friend’s basement on Dec. 2, 2011. In audio recordings played for the court, Lewis said he and his accuser had consensual sex more than 10 times throughout their high school careers.
His accuser said her upbringing stopped her from reporting the incidents until she was urged by a friend.
Marx said he “feels badly for the victim and her family,” and said she was brave to have come forward.
The verdict was delivered after more than seven hours of deliberations Thursday. The jury deliberated for two full days Wednesday and Thursday, and also deliberated for about two hours late Tuesday.
Pickerington Football Player Not Guilty Of Rape Charges was originally published on mycolumbuspower.com