Stillwater News Press

Local News

October 31, 2009

Jury finds Carter not guilty in rape trial

Robert Lavell Carter was found not guilty of first-degree rape Friday evening in the Payne County District Court.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., after about four hours of deliberation, the jury delivered its decision.

The trial began Wednesday morning and continued until 2:30 p.m. Friday.

During the trial, the jury heard testimony from the Carter’s accuser, two neighbors of the woman, a friend who was with the woman and Carter the night of the incident, several members of the Stillwater Police Department, a sexual assault nurse examiner, an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation chemist and an acquaintance of Carter, 41.

The jury heard two 9-1-1 calls from neighbors as well as the recorded statements taken from the woman who accused Carter as well as her friend who was there that evening.

Carter’s accuser said she plans to seek a restraining order.

She had moved back to Stillwater with her husband a week ago but currently plans to move to Florida because of the verdict, she said.

“Before all this happened. I was a totally different person. Finally, I thought I’d get my life back on track. I don’t know what to do. I fear for my family,” she said.

Carter of Stillwater says he plans to try to look for a job now.

He was arrested Nov. 20, 2008 and had been in jail until the verdict was reached.

“Well, I wasn’t guilty in the first place. I was in there 11 months. If they had done a thorough investigation in the first place, I wouldn’t have been in there,” Carter said.

Carter said he believes that he was accused of rape, because the woman was infatuated with someone else and was angry with Carter for introducing his friend to her friend.

Carter was represented in this case by defense attorney Debra Vincent.

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