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Santa Fe Rape Trial Ends in Hung Jury

SANTA FE, N.M. — The District Attorney’s Office will likely go forward with a new trial against a man accused of raping a female acquaintance after he took her home from a bar.

The jury in the rape trial against Jody Deere, 41, came back at 3 p.m. Friday after an afternoon of deliberating and stated they could not reach a verdict, according to Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Hill. The hung jury resulted in a mistrial.

Hill said that, according to a jury foreman, seven of the jurors were in favor of a guilty verdict, three favored not guilty and two were undecided.

The state can, and likely will, pursue a new trial without having to go through a grand jury to re-indict Deere on the rape charge, Hill said. Deere’s attorney, Jason Flores-Williams, said if that happened they would fight the charge, but added that he believes “double jeopardy” protections would apply to this case, meaning Deere could not be tried on the same charge again. Hill disagreed, saying that double jeopardy did not apply to an unresolved case.

Deere was accused of raping a female friend, who now lives in Tennessee, on April 9, 2009. Prosecutors alleged that the woman Deere was accused of raping went to the Underground bar in Santa Fe and the last thing she remembered was setting a drink down. She had flashes of memories of riding with Deere in a vehicle that drove to his ex-wife’s home on Gov. Dempsey Drive.

She woke up alone there the following morning, naked from the waist down, and a rape examination showed that sexual intercourse occurred. The prosecutors alleged the intercourse was not consensual.

To find Deere guilty of rape, the jury was instructed in part that they must find he used force on the woman or had sex with her while she was unconscious or helpless, and that he knew or had reason to know her condition.

In her closing argument Friday, Hill argued that Deere preyed on a woman who at one point was in his car talking to people in the back seat who were not there. Earlier, the prosecution alleged she was drinking and using cocaine.

“This is not so much a case of he-said, she-said,” Hill told the jury. “This is a case of him taking advantage of the victim. This is a case of the defendant saying, ‘Oh, boy, I’m going to get lucky tonight.’ ”

Hill drew on testimony of a forensic nurse who said injuries she had seen to the victim’s genitalia were consistent with rape. Out of 230 exams the nurse conducted, she had never seen those injuries resulting from consensual sex, Hill said.

“If sex hurts, you stop,” she added.

Flores-Williams painted a different picture in his closing argument. He said the woman was partying and doing cocaine when she met Deere at the Underground. They left and continued to party. She woke up late for work the next morning, and, to cover for herself, she accused his client of raping her and filed a lawsuit seeking money from him.

The attorney urged the jury to “be the adults in the room” and say that someone can’t drink and do cocaine in a toilet, miss work for being hung over and “use these courts to make people’s lives a living hell.”

Flores-Williams accused the prosecution of not presenting enough evidence to corroborate people’s statements. He also pointed to a blog the alleged victim wrote a year following the incident, in which she wrote that she had hurt an innocent person. He said the jury needed to let both the woman and his client move on.

“Let them both go from this time in their lives,” he said.

Hill, in her rebuttal, told the jury that Flores-Williams’ scenario didn’t make sense.

“Don’t leave your common sense at the door,” she said. “No woman accuses someone of rape just because she’s late for work.”

She said the blog post was written about a business partner, not Deere.