Jury acquits 18-year-old of rape charges Defendant videotaped 12-year-old having sex

December 06, 1991|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

A Baltimore Circuit Court jury took less than an hour yesterday to acquit an 18-year-old Randallstown man of rape charges for filming two of his friends having sex with a 12-year-old girl.

Clifton Carter Jr. was charged with first-and second-degree rape and assault and battery for his role in the incident on Nov. 9, 1990, although he wasn't accused of having intercourse with the girl.

After finding Mr. Carter not guilty on all four charges, the jury of 10 men and one woman asked to make a statement in court.

Judge J. William Hinkel suggested instead that the jurors meet in the jury room with the prosecutor and defense attorney. Both lawyers said afterward that the jurors wanted to say how much they disapproved of the defendant's conduct, but that they were unable to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the girl had been forced -- as required to prove each rape charge.

The jury did not consider statutory rape -- a form of second-degree rape when the victim is younger than 14 and the assailant is at least four years older -- because there was no proof of the two friends' ages, the judge said.

Their ages weren't known because Mr. Carter refused to identify the two, claiming to know them only by nicknames -- although a defense witness who was at the house during the incident testified yesterday that one of the two was related to Mr. Carter.

Mr. Carter testified that the girl consented to have sex with his two friends, although she didn't want him to film the acts. But he said he videotaped her anyway because he wanted to make a pornographic movie. Mr. Carter said he did not finish editing the tape because his friends took it to show to their friends.

The girl testified that Mr. Carter forced her to submit to his friends but that she was afraid to tell her mother because she had let them in to play video games with her younger brother. No one was allowed in their house while her mother was at work, she said.

But the incident was revealed on April 11, when the defendant's mother found the videotape where Mr. Carter had hidden it in a living room chair. His mother viewed the tape, recognized the girl, told her mother and confronted her son.

The tape -- which both lawyers told the jury would show the truth -- has disappeared, Mr. Carter testified.

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