CROWN POINT — A Lake Criminal Court jury deliberated about a half-hour Wednesday before finding a man not guilty of raping a woman in 2017 at his Griffith apartment.
Paul L. Duke, 25, was charged in January 2018 with one count of rape, a level 3 felony, and criminal confinement, a level 6 felony. He was found not guilty on all counts.
The woman who alleged Duke raped her testified Monday that she and Duke were hoping to begin a relationship when she went to his apartment on Dec. 13, 2017, to wait for him to go to breakfast with her.
She claimed Duke exited his bathroom, told her he wanted to "put a baby" in her, put his weight on her and raped her.
Duke's defense attorney, Mark Gruenhagen, said the sex was consensual and suggested the woman may have alleged she was raped after learning Duke was engaged to be married to another woman.
Gruenhagen questioned how the alleged rape continued for about 40 minutes, but medical records showed the woman suffered no bruising or other injuries as a result.
The woman stared straight ahead as she gave short answers, confirming she didn't suffer any serious injuries and affirming that the rape may have gone on for 40 minutes.
She eventually began crying on the stand, saying she tried to push Duke off her but didn't punch him because she was scared. She said she went to work and waited at least 12 hours to report the alleged rape because she didn't want to lose her job.
Gruenhagen said Wednesday he was happy with the verdict.
"These are very difficult cases for everyone involved, and I want to thank the jury for careful consideration," he said.
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