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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 22, 2015


1/16/2013 10:25:00 PM
Jury deadlocks in trial of man accused of raping friend's niece
Garin Becker
Garin Becker
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The 12-person jury in the rape trial of Garin Becker began deliberations Wednesday morning, and by afternoon told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked.

Becker, 25, was accused of the sexual assault and attempted sexual assault of a 21-year-old woman he met in a Prescott Valley bar through her uncle on June 9. The woman, who is married with two children, was staying with her sister-in-law while her husband was out of town, training with the National Guard.

Becker was alleged to have gone to the home in a car with the woman, her sister-in-law and another relative, then going into her bedroom and sexually assaulting her.

In his closing argument, Deputy County Attorney Steve Young said, "There is no evidence whatsoever that contradicts (the woman's) testimony as to what happened in that bedroom"

And, he added, after the assault, "the defendant fled the residence. He left, he got out of there. You know why he got out of there so quick? Because he raped her."

Young went on to point out that Becker went to a friend's house, where he got cleaned up, and when police arrived, "he was hiding in a back bedroom."

Defense attorney John Hollis pointed out what he called "contradictions" in the woman's story. She told police that he had first tried to have sex with her, but was slowed because she was wearing a tampon, and then later forced oral sex, but Hollis said, she told police the events happened in the reserve order.

Hollis pointed out that she claimed she had only spoken with Becker for a few minutes, but one of the prosecution's own witnesses testified that he'd seen Becker and the victim holding hands at the bar.

Becker's sister testified that she heard a female voice in the background when Becker called her late that night. The voice was "laughing, giggling, trying to get him to get off the phone," Hollis said. "A woman's voice," Hollis repeated.

During the time the alleged victim claimed the rape went on, her sister-in-law said she had turned on a bathroom fan to generate white noise as she slept and she heard no signs of a scuffle in the room next door.

"That must be the mother of all bathroom fans," scoffed Hollis. "It must be as loud as a 747 to drown out the sound of a sexual assault."

Finally, he said, the victim told Becker, "I want you to go."

"'Because I've just been sexually assaulted?' Is that what you say?" he asked.

Young responded, "It is outrageous to suggest she didn't react like someone who has been sexually assaulted. There's no handbook on how to react."

As the woman and her family exited the courtroom after hearing that the jury couldn't reach a decision, she broke down in tears.

The eight women and four men of the jury were split down the middle, one juror said afterwards.

"Wasn't even close. Six to six," said juror Paul Sandstrom. "We had two of the gals (on the jury) who didn't believe (the alleged victim) at all.

"The witnesses were too well-rehearsed," he added, and "it came down to 'he-said-she-said.'"

Young said, "These things happen. I think the jury tried hard... but they were unable to reach a verdict at this time."

Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley set another appearance for Becker on Jan. 23, when she said they could discuss a possible plea agreement.

The prosecution "would be interested in engaging in talks," Young said.





Party in the Pines PAYP
Related Stories:
• After mistrial, Becker takes plea in rape case
• Witness contradicts some of woman's rape trial testimony
• Woman testifies in rape trial
• Trial begins for man accused of raping woman while staying at friend's home


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013
Article comment by: Leigh Greene

Hold on people, he was not found innocent, it was a hung jury. Whether it was rape or not is still to be decided by another trial, or by the plea agreement. DNA proved they had intercourse, the conundrum here is if it was consensual or not. Please stop playing judge and jury yourselves. At this point, no one knows what went on between these two inebriated young people. Wait for Jan. 23rd.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Proud NRA Patsy

If everyone had a gun, this probably wouldn't have happened... Of course, then it would have been a homicide, but hey, at least we'd all have guns.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: To Mind Change

There was disagreement over whether the victim held hands with the suspect. But having drinks and holding hands does not give a person the right to force sex on anyone. And very few women would opt to go through with the publicity of a rape trial rather than admit to a spouse that he or she had committed adultery. The victim could have simply kept quiet if she wanted the matter kept from her husband. You have jumped to an awful lot of conclusions about this woman. I thought society had come a long way from the "she must have asked for it" mentality but your comments indicate that such backward attitudes continue to thrive. Show some pity for this woman and her family.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: waste of tax dollars

What a waste of our tax dollars. We the people need to hold Young responsable for repaying the tax dollars wasted, and this man needs to sue yavapai county for slander.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: mind change

Held hands, had a few drinks, went home to her trailer. Had relations, no wait didn't have relations, no wait you sexually assaulted me, Sounds like someone forgot she was married,than remembered, she was married. I'd rather cry rape than have my husband come home from training and find out from friends in a small town that I was unfaithful. Try to get guy locked up.I think I see a country western song in here someplace. What a waste of court resources.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Common Senzi

It is far worse to imprison an innocent man than let a guilty one go free.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Ignorance is not bliss, it's just ignorance

In his closing argument, Deputy County Attorney Steve Young said, "There is no evidence whatsoever that contradicts (the woman's) testimony as to what happened in that bedroom".

Maybe if we got a DA that understands people do not have to prove themselves innocent? If that was his case, he should have never been in court in the first place.
As for a jury that is "hopelessly deadlocked" after only a few hours??????


Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: tired of it all

"Hopelessly deadlocked"? It wasn't even a full day!!! What, did the jurist's have dinner and movie plans?



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