Teen not guilty in cam­pus rape case

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­tynews.com

— A Bal­ti­more teenager ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a Wash­ing­ton Col­lege class­mate on cam­pus in Septem­ber 2016 was found not guilty of the most se­ri­ous charge, se­cond-de­gree rape, last week dur­ing a one-day jury trial in cir­cuit court here. Fope Moses Fado­ju­timi, 18, also was found not guilty of se­cond-de­gree sex of­fense and se­cond-de­gree as­sault. He was con­victed of fourth-de­gree sex of­fense, a mis­de­meanor pun­ish­able by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. No sen­tenc­ing date has been set. The seven men and five women on the jury de­lib­er­ated for less than an hour be­hind closed doors Thurs­day, March 22. They were ex­cused at 5:08 p.m., re­turned to the court­room 41 min­utes later ask­ing for a def­i­ni­tion of se­cond-de­gree sex of­fense and to have Judge J. Fred­er­ick Price re-in­struct them on the el­e­ments of the of­fense and no­ti­fied the bailiff at 6:02 p.m. that they had reached their ver­dicts. Fado­ju­timi was the only de­fense wit­ness. He tes­ti­fied that the sex be­tween him and his ac­cuser was con­sen­sual. “She did not say ‘ no’ and she did not try to push me away,” he told the jury. The sex­ual en­counter oc­curred in his dorm room on Sept. 8, 2016, about two weeks into the aca­demic year.

Fado­ju­timi and his ac­cuser, who was 18 at the time, were first- year stu­dents at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege. They met dur­ing fresh­man ori­en­ta­tion, had seen each other so­cially a cou­ple of times and had mu­tual friends, both tes­ti­fied. The Kent County News does not iden­tify vic­tims of al­leged sex crimes. Fado­ju­timi was re­moved from cam­pus within a day of the al­le­ga­tions be­ing re­ported and was sub­se­quently ex­pelled. He is now at­tend­ing an­other col­lege, he tes­ti­fied. The woman is no longer a stu­dent at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege. She re­turned to her home­town and is now work­ing there. “I just needed to get away,” she replied to a ques­tion asked by pros­e­cu­tor Robert Mow­ell. She was the first wit­ness for the state and, un­der di­rect ex­am­i­na­tion, re­played the events of Sept. 8, 2016. She tes­ti­fied that she will­ingly went to Fado­ju­timi’s dorm room af­ter they had smoked mar­i­juana in a car in the park­ing lot. “We were just go­ing to hang out and watch TV,” she said. Even­tu­ally the two had sex­ual in­ter­course, which the woman said was not con­sen­sual. “I kept say­ing ‘ No, stop,’” she tes­ti­fied in a barely au­di­ble voice, wip­ing away tears. The woman tes­ti­fied that im­me­di­ately af­ter leav­ing Fado­ju­timi’s room, she went to her dor­mi­tory and lo­cated her room­mate and an­other friend, who took her to the col­lege’s Of­fice of Pub­lic Safety to file a re­port. She tes­ti­fied that she gave a writ­ten state­ment to a pub­lic safety of­fi­cer, went to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Center at Ch­ester­town, where she un­der­went a foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion, and re­turned to the pub­lic safety of­fice to give a se­cond state­ment. She also re­ported the al­leged sex­ual as­sault to the Ch­ester­town Po­lice Depart­ment. Un­der cross- ex­am­i­na­tion by de­fense at­tor­ney Ge­orge Oswin­kle, the woman tes­ti­fied that she tried to push Fado­ju­timi off of her and that she told him “no” and “stop.” She also tes­ti­fied that she did not call out for help, and she was un­able to re­call some de­tails — such as the clothes that she and Fado­ju­timi were wear­ing. Her tes­ti­mony lasted about an hour. Other state wit­nesses in­cluded pub­lic safety of­fi­cer Bur­ton Brown, Cpl. Michelle Guer­riero of the CPD and reg­is­tered nurse Les­lie Col­lier, whom the court ac­cepted as an ex­pert in the field of sex­ual as­sault foren­sics. Col­lier, who ex­am­ined the woman in the hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency room, told the jury that based on her ex­am­i­na­tion it was not pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine if the sex had been con­sen­sual or rape. Fado­ju­timi tes­ti­fied that his ac­cuser will­ingly went to his room, did not ob­ject when he took off her clothes and that they had con­sen­sual in­ter­course. Af­ter­ward, he said, he walked her back to her dorm room, where they hugged, and then he re­turned to his dorm. In clos­ing ar­gu­ments, Oswin­kle de­scribed the woman’s mem­ory as “sketchy.” “This was two teenagers who made a bad de­ci­sion, but there is no crime,” he said. Fado­ju­timi was charged as an adult, though he was only two months past his 17th birth­day when the in­ci­dent oc­curred. His at­tor­ney was un­suc­cess­ful in hav­ing the case be­ing ad­ju­di­cated in ju­ve­nile court. A se­cond Wash­ing­ton Col­lege stu­dent ac­cused Fado­ju­timi of rape and sex­ual as­sault on cam­pus in the first week of Septem­ber 2016. That case is sched­uled for trial next month, also in the Cir­cuit Court for Kent County.

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