I find it really hard to believe that this man wasn't convicted.
A jury acquitted a convicted sex offender Monday of raping two teenage girls who police say escaped after they were left to die in an underground bunker he had built....
Authorities accused Hinson of snatching the 17-year-old girls from their bedroom last year and dragging them one at a time to the underground room, raping them and binding them with duct tape. Prosecutors said Hinson expected the girls to die because the room, under a tool shed, had no air supply.
He was charged with kidnapping, sex crimes and assault with intent to kill....
Hinson testified that the girls had consensual sex with him. He said they made up the story so they would be able to take drugs from the bunker, which he used to store marijuana....
Hinson had faced a mandatory life sentence without parole under the state's two-strikes law because of a past conviction for raping a 12-year-old girl in 1991.
The underground room was about the length and width of a mid-size car, with a ceiling about 4 1/2 feet high. Hinson testified Sunday that he had built the room behind the trailer where he lived.
Defense attorney Rick Hoefer spent much of his nearly two-hour closing argument Sunday picking apart what he called inconsistencies in the teens' testimony, including how long it took them to call 911 after their alleged escape and whether they saw Hinson with a gun.
Here's one of the accusers, speaking out after the verdict:
She told News 10 Hinson kidnapped her from her bed, tied her with duct tape, and raped her and her friend in Hinson's underground bunker.
"No girls are going to get up on the stand and lie to say a man raped them and bound them and put them down a hole and raped them and did all this disgusting stuff to them and threatened them, said he'll kill family and people they loved the most. Nobody's going to get up there and lie about that! Nobody!" she said.
One juror said it did not make sense the girl would not wake up when he came into her room to kidnap her and her friend. But the girl says that's not her fault: "I can't help it I'm a hard sleeper; I sleep hard."
She also said she didn't scream when he came to kidnap her, "because he had a gun. He carried it everywhere he went."
One juror said he did not believe the story being tied with duct tape, because he said it didn't have bite marks on it.
"The only duct tape bit off my hands was the duct tape around my wrist. That was the only part bit off," said the girl.
I am compelled to a certain admiration for the defense attorney, but that aside, this just seems like twelve kinds of wrong. You can read about the accused man's testimony here. If the girls had just been making up a story to cover up their stealing pot from him, then why did he agree that he had had sex with them? (Besides that he needed to account for DNA evidence, I mean.) What the victim said in the article seemed to imply that the jurors weren't informed of his previous rape conviction, can that be right? I don't really know what the rules are on that. In any case, that is one guilty-looking motherf&$%)#.