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WARSAW — After a two-day jury trial and approximately three hours of deliberation, Alexander Glen Hurley, Warsaw, was found not guilty of rape.
The trial continued Wednesday, Aug. 7, with the state resting and defense beginning its argument by calling Kenyan Bennett to the stand.
During his testimony, Bennett said he was friends with the victim for about three years and has known Hurley for six years, saying Hurley is “like my brother.” Bennett said he and the victim were friends and used to talk all the time until Hurley was arrested in this case.
“When she first told me about it, she didn’t describe it to me as rape,” said Bennett. “She told me she lied about it and wanted to get him in trouble. I told her that was stupid and she walked away. I haven’t talked to her since then.”
During cross-examination, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Buehler asked Bennett if he was aware of an apology letter Hurley wrote to the victim about the alleged crime. Bennett said he was not aware of it and that he didn’t discuss the ongoing court case with Hurley during jail visits.
Defense Attorney Jay Rigdon then called Hurley to the stand for the final testimony in the case and questioned Hurley about the day the crime allegedly occurred.
In his testimony, Hurley said he knew the victim through school. One day in February 2018, Hurley said he and the victim went to his house to hang out. He said his aunt and two uncles were there at the time. While watching a movie together in his bedroom, Hurley asked the victim if he could cuddle with her. He said he started kissing her and unbuttoning her pants when she said to stop.
“We stopped for about 20 to 30 minutes, and then she started kissing me,” said Hurley.
Hurley said he and the victim had intercourse and that he asked her several times if she was okay with it and she agreed.
Rigdon then asked Hurley if he was aware of any rape allegations made against him until he went to the Warsaw Police Department for an interview with Detective Lieutenant Paul Heaton. Hurley said he was not aware of the allegation until he went to the police department and that he felt “pressured” to write an apology letter to the victim.
After Hurley’s testimony, a juror submitted a question asking if either Hurley or the victim were under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the alleged incident. Hurley said he wasn’t and that he believed the victim wasn’t.
The defense then rested their case and final arguments began.
“In February 2018, Alex Hurley raped [the victim],” said Buehler. “She told him no and he didn’t listen. All he cared about was sex. Nine months ago at the interview at the Warsaw Police Department, he said he couldn’t remember what happened. And yet today, he remembered every detail of what happened on that very day.”
Buehler then reminded the jury of Heaton’s interview with Hurley, which was recorded.
“You saw him in the video, those words in that apology letter were all Alex’s words,” said Buehler. “Do you think that was someone being forced to write that? He was all by himself and he wasn’t being told what to say in the letter.”
Rigdon began his final argument by discussing the victim’s initial statement to police in December 2018.
“The victim didn’t give a statement to police until 10 months after the fact,” said Rigdon. “In the statement, the victim said she told a family member about the incident a few days after it happened to ‘get it off her conscience.’ After she realized she and Alex had no future plans, she began to regret having sex. She was a child at the time, and so was Alex.”
Rigdon also discussed Heaton’s investigation of the incident.
“Mr. Buehler brought up how Alex was alone in the interview room for 11 minutes by himself writing an apology letter,” said Rigdon. “But 11 minutes is a lot more time than Paul Heaton spent talking to anyone else in this case besides my client. He didn’t even talk with the victim in person.”
The jury then went into deliberation after closing arguments. After about three hours, the jury came back with a not guilty verdict.