Mistrial declared in alleged rape caseAfter a jury failed to come to a unanimous decision last week, the case of a 19-year-old Pine Island man accused of raping his ex-girlfriend will get a new trial.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
After a jury failed to come to a unanimous decision last week, the case of a 19-year-old Pine Island man accused of raping his ex-girlfriend will get a new trial.
Joseph Daniel Carlson still faces one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
After hearing closing arguments Jan. 23, a jury of two women and 10 men deliberated for about seven hours before Judge Thomas Bibus officially declared a mistrial Jan. 24, Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Erin Kuester said.
“It’s unusual for sure to have a mistrial declared,” Kuester said. “It’s unresolved for both sides.”
Now, the case will go back to trial with a new jury.
According to a court complaint filed July 16, Carlson invited his ex-girlfriend, 17, over to his mother’s house in Pine Island to hang out on July 11. He then hugged her from behind, pulled off her clothing while holding her down and dragged her into a bedroom, the complaint says.
Carlson then allegedly raped her and made her perform oral sex.
“The defendant ambushed her by hugging her from behind,” Assistant Kuester said during closing arguments. “The defense wants to say that this was foreplay, that she liked it rough. (But) she braces herself against a doorjamb. She was doing everything she could do to resist.”
Defense attorney Doug Bayley countered that the girl was “hurt and angry” that Carlson had broken up with her and that she was calling the incident rape in order to get out of punishment from her strict mother.
“It was easier to tell those people that it wasn’t consensual than to say what she said first: ‘I fooled around with my ex,’” Bayley said, quoting a text message the girl sent after the incident.
During the trial, which began Jan. 17, a doctor and a nurse testified about a bruise the girl had on her collarbone following the incident and an injury to her genitals. The medical professionals stated that the injuries were “inconsistent with consensual sex,” Kuester said.
“How do we know there was force,” Kuester continued. “She was injured. … If this was playful, flirty rolling around, why is one person uninjured and one person battered.”
Bayley countered that both the nurse and doctor also testified that it was possible that the genital injury could occurred during consensual sex.
In addition, the bruise on the girl’s collarbone was just a hickey, Bayley said, adding that the girl said so in text messages after the incident.
“She texted (a friend) and complained about the hickeys,” Bayley said.
A new trial date has not yet been set, Kuester said.