William Jenkins, facing charges including rape, was acquitted Wednesday afternoon.
It took a jury about 45 minutes to acquit Jenkins, 49, of aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault and false imprisonment, said Susan Henderson, his attorney.
Muscogee County Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen issued a directed verdict of not guilty for armed robbery on Wednesday. He did the same thing Tuesday on a charge of rape.
Henderson said the woman who alleged the attack testified Tuesday that a rape didn’t occur.
“I feel great,” Henderson said. “He got tears in his eyes. Like he told me, ‘Now I can get on with my life.’”
Jenkins, also represented by attorney Cynthia Maisano, was accused of offering a ride to a woman on Halloween night 2006 when her car ran out of gas. Instead of taking her to a gas station, he drove to the Lake Oliver Marina area, where he assaulted her, authorities claimed.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Bickerstaff said he was disappointed in the verdict.
“The victim in the case did not have a great personal history,” the prosecutor said. “She said she was smoking crack that night.”
In her closing arguments, Henderson pointed to a large chalkboard with references to five different statements the woman has given since Halloween 2006. At first, the victim said she didn’t know the suspect. Then she told authorities she did. On Tuesday, she testified that she smoked crack with Jenkins.
“That’s reasonable doubt,” Henderson said. “It goes on and on.”
Bickerstaff argued that no witness disputed the woman’s testimony. He pointed to the nature of investigations as to the differences in her statements.First, she gave a basic statement to a patrol officer, Bickerstaff said. It wasn’t until five day later when a sex crimes detective interviewed her.
“She gave it all to you — the good and the bad,” Bickerstaff said of the woman’s testimony. “That she was smoking crack, and that she was looking for more crack when William Jenkins took her to the marina.”
Bickerstaff said the woman made many bad choices in her life — choices that led her to smoking crack, and specifically to Halloween 2006, when she was searching for more of the drug.
“Who’s going to believe her?” Bickerstaff asked. “She’s just a crack addict. But I hope you will. She’s entitled to the protection of the law, and she’s entitled to see justice done to what this man did to her.”