MOUNT VERNON — Stephen J. Zingarelli, 22, was found not guilty by Judge Otho Eyster Tuesday on charges of rape and gross sexual imposition.
Zingarelli was charged following an incident late Dec. 6 at Kenyon College in which his girlfriend claimed he had assaulted her.
Defense Attorney James Giles said he waived the defendant’s right to a jury trail and instead had the case decided by Eyster because he thought the evidence was convincing.
“We have a good judge, so let’s leave it in the hands of the professionals,” Giles said.
On May 1, Eyster had ruled that evidence of consensual sex between the defendant and the alleged victim both prior to and subsequent to the incident, would be admissible.
“I think Kenyon Security, the Sheriff’s Office and the prosecutor’s office rushed to judgment,” Giles said. “On the witness stand, she admitted to having a sexual encounter with him the day after the incident.”
Zingarelli was also dismissed from Kenyon after the charges were filed, but Giles said he will be meeting with college officials to see if anything can be done about getting him his degree.
“He was only a semester from graduation,” Giles said.
County Prosecutor John Thatcher did not reply to an offer to comment on the case.
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