A jury found a Howard man not guilty of all charges Tuesday, including child rape.
Six women and six men deliberated for about one hour before acquitting 46-year-old Alexander Fults after a two-day trial.
He was found not guilty of three felony counts of child rape, eight felony counts of aggravated indecent assault and 11 felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor.
State police at Rockview accused Fults of raping and sexually assaulting a female in Snow Shoe when she was 9 or 10 years old. She reported the alleged assaults in February 2018 when she was 18 years old.
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The woman told police the alleged “sexual victimization” began after Fults showed her a pornographic magazine. From there, Fults was accused of assaulting or raping her at least 11 times during an about four year period.
She also said Fults occasionally paid her to “keep quiet and not tell her mother what was taking place.”
District Attorney Bernie Cantorna did not prosecute the case, but said his office will continue to prosecute cases regardless of the age of the case.
“If there is a credible report of sexual assault and it’s 10 years old, that is not going to be a determining factor in us bringing a prosecution,” Cantora said. “We respect the decisions of the jurors and we appreciate their service to the legal system.”
Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Ramos, who represented Fults during the trial, declined to comment.