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Jefferson County

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Jefferson County man not guilty of sexual battery

Updated: Thursday, July 24 2014, 05:22 PM EDT
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio – Robert Hess, a Jefferson County man on trial accused of sexual battery, was found not guilty by a jury Thursday.
The issue the trial hinged upon was not that Hess had sex with his victim, but rather if he coerced her into unwillingly engaging in sexual intercourse, or was it a business negotiation gone bad?
It was September 2012 when Hess was accused of sexual assaulting a woman at his home. His accuser lived with her boyfriend and his friend in Toronto.  After an argument at the home, she left, planning to walk to her boyfriend’s grandfather's home just off of Sunset Boulevard in Steubenville.
Along her walk, she encountered Hess, who offered her a place to stay for the night.
“I said was very tired and I said, 'don't touch me,’ and he still was staring at me, and I said it again, ‘don't touch me.’ And I said it a third time, ‘don't touch me’ and at that point he started to get up so I started to get up,” the woman said. “And he went into the kitchen.”
His accuser's testimony continued, describing an alleged rape at knife-point.
“I was afraid that I'd get hit again, or that I'd get that knife,” she said. “I was in survival mode; I had never been through that before."
Hess' defense? The only piece of evidence pointing to rape was her testimony. And a medical report an hour after the alleged incident that showed no rashes, bruises or any forceful injuries.

Jefferson County man not guilty of sexual battery

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