WESTMINSTER — A 39-year-old city man was acquitted on rape charges Thursday by a jury that deliberated for about an hour.
Jose Rodriguez Rosas was cleared by a jury of 11 men and one woman who listened to 3 1/2 days of testimony.
Rosas was charged with first- and second-degree rape, first- and second-degree sexual offenses, assault with intent to rape, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, using a dangerous weapon in the commission of a crime and assault and battery.
He was cleared onall charges.
Rosas, a former employee of the Wakefield Valley Golf Club in Westminster, was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in the club office about 1:45 a.m. Oct. 20, 1990.
Westminster Police Detective Barbara Litchfield testified Thursday that the girl reported the incident at the police station later that day.
She said the girl told her that Rosas approached her car and asked if she would give him a ride home. The girl said she recognized Rosas because he worked at Cranberry Mall and knew some of her friends.
The girl said Rosas told her to drive to the golf course, where he pulled a knife and ordered her to remove her clothes.
The girl told police that Rosas threw her to the ground and forced her to engage in intercourse and other sex acts.
The girl told Litchfield that after the incident, she went to a friend's house and then went home.
Assistant Public Defender Ed Barry tried to discredit the girl's testimony in his closing argument to the jury.
He questioned whether the girl could be believed because she admitted sneaking out of her parents' house frequently to meet boyfriends her family didn't like.
He said the state's case against Rosas was weak because it lacked any physical evidence and that, "the state failed miserably to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" his client was guilty.
He also criticized the girl for leaving out details of the alleged attack when she testified in court.
Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill disputed Barry's assessment of the girl's testimony.
"If she wanted to get this guy, wouldn't her story be pat?" asked Hill.
The prosecutor also asked why thegirl would lie.
"Why tell anyone about it at all if it didn't happen. Why tell when she hadn't even gotten caught for sneaking out of the house that night?"
If convicted on the first-degree rape charge, Rosas could have faced life imprisonment.