Inside the Minds of the Jasper Jury

Putting all of the opinions and bias on the back burner we lay out the case into a logical flow to go inside the minds of the 12 jurors and how they viewed the case.

There were 3 crimes the jury had to consider:

  • Home Invasion
  • Sexual Assault (1st degree)
  • Sexual Assault (2nd degree)

When we sit down to discuss a possible conviction we must look at only relevant testimony to each particular charge.

Home Invasion

home invasion

Home Invasion was the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case as it was an element that could have been used to convict the defendant of the other two charges for sexual assault.

Because there was no physical evidence of a forced entry, witnesses had to serve as the primary evidence for this charge.

There were 4 key witnesses for this incident:

key witness

Victim – on separate reports between police officers and the medical examiner, the reported information by victim varied from she let him in, to they both opened door at same time, to he took her keys and let himself in.

Victim’s Boyfriend – testified that he was at the residence while defendant was there and left because everything appeared to be fine.

Defendant – testified to knocking on the door, walking around the house to see if anyone was home, and then grabbing keys from vehicle, but before he used them to unlock door, victim opened door and let him in.

Victim’s Sister – testified that defendant did not act as if he had committed a crime and was confused as to what was going on.

Arguments

Ask-the-Attorney-April-2015

Prosecution argues that defendant was not invited to the residence and let himself in.

d-fence-defense-sign

Defense argues that defendant was let into residence and was not asked to leave and left freely on his own accord.

Analysis

analysis

Because of conflicting reports given by the victim, victim’s testimony remains questionable.

Victim’s boyfriend testified that everything seemed fine when he walked in on them talking and he left the residence.

Testimony given by defendant matches with one of the reports presented by victim, that he was let into residence.

Because victim’s boyfriend testified that everything was fine there is no reason to believe that defendant was present without permission.

Also lacking is evidence that defendant forced his way into the home or that he refused to leave when asked to do so.

Showing up without an invitation is not a crime.

Furthermore, defendant was pulled over by a state trooper shortly after leaving residence on his own accord on the basis that he took part in an altercation at the victim’s residence. Defendant was held for approximately 20 minutes after which the officer concluded that there was no credible reason to arrest him and let him go.

Accusations of Breaking and Entering, Trespassing, Home Invasion, or anything similar are also not present in any of the initial police reports.

As such, grounds for Home Invasion are found to be lacking.

Regardless of whether or not defendant was invited, the minute he was let in and not asked to leave, is inherent permission to remain on property.

If defendant remained by threat of force or coercion, victims boyfriend could have easily removed or provided help and assistance upon entering the victim’s residence, instead victim asked her boyfriend to leave.

No other evidence pertaining to the charge of Home Invasion was submitted or relevant.

Sexual Assault Charges

sexual assault mark jasper

Both sexual assault charges are similar offenses in nature and rely heavily on the prosecution getting a conviction on the Home Invasion charge, however, without the Home Invasion charge, there was still a possible avenue to convict defendant.

The following were key witnesses:

key witness

  • Medical Examiner
  • First police officer on scene
  • Victim
  • Victims sister
  • Victims boyfriend
  • Defendant

Medical Examiner testified that upon examining the victim, the only thing she found was a small bruise on her leg. Defendant’s DNA was found on breast tissue, no other DNA samples were taken or reported.

First police officer on the scene arrives to the victim frantically crying and refusing to talk. Officer notices nothing out of the ordinary, does not report any disarray in the bedroom where supposed assault took place, no reports of breaking and entering, and no physical injury done to victim.

Victim testifies defendant sexually assaulted her. Carried her to the bed and had his way with her which was stopped short of sexual intercourse. Victim reports biting defendant and scratching him. Victim reports heavy bruising to leg. Victim testifies defendant touched both breasts, however, the victim reported only one breast being touched to the medical examiner.

Victim’s sister testifies to placing 911 call, reports that she does not notice any marks on the victim other than her leg looking like it was pressed up against something but quickly fades away before they get to the medical examiner, no bruising or scratches. Reports that she told defendant to leave the residence to which he complied.

Victim’s boyfriend testifies to seeing massive bruising, scratches, and possible bleeding on victim’s leg.

Defendant testifies that all sexual contact between the victim and himself was consensual. That he carried her to the bed with her arms draped around his neck where they began sexual contact. Defendant admits to touching breast and inserting fingers into vagina. Defendant testifies that victim suddenly kicked him and said “we aren’t doing this” at which point he stopped and all sexual contact ceased.

Arguments

Ask-the-Attorney-April-2015

The prosecution argues that defendant and victim had ended their relationship months prior and were not in contact for the previous two months for anything other than exchanging belongings. That all sexual talk and conduct had stopped completely. That defendant was not invited to the residence on the date of the incident. That defendant forced his way into the home and sexually assaulted the victim. That the victim tried to fight him off and get him to leave.

d-fence-defense-sign

Defense argues that although defendant was not invited to residence, he was let into residence and that all sexual contact was consensual. Defense noted that although the victim appeared to be emotionally distraught while testifying that no connection was made by prosecution to link this behavior to defendant. That no psychological evaluation was conducted and no mental health professional testified on victims behalf. That if there was an issue with the defendant being at the residence, the victim’s boyfriend never would have left them alone. That the medical examination showed no bruising or scratches. That it was odd that victim stated she had scratched the defendant yet no DNA samples of fingernails were sent in for evaluation. That when victim kicked him and told him to stop, he stopped, and when victim’s sister asked him to leave, he left. That defendant was pulled over shortly after and was released after the officer concluded there was no reason to make an arrest.

Analysis

analysis

Concluded earlier, defendant had what is to be considered inherent permission to be at victim’s residence. At the time the victim’s boyfriend returned her dog, everything between victim and defendant seemed fine.

After which point, defendant and victim had sexual contact.

Victim and Victim’s boyfriend testify to bruising on leg, however, medical examination shows no such evidence. Initial officer on the scene also reports no injury done to victim, as well as, nothing out of the ordinary in the bedroom where the alleged crime took place. No evidence of a struggle, nothing broken, and nothing out of place.

Victim’s sister and defendant testify that there was no bruising which lines up with evidence provided by the medical examination, by logic we must conclude victim had no physical injury from or leading up to sexual contact.

Furthermore, we must question the credibility of the victim’s boyfriend and victims testimony as both are contradictory to the testimony and evidence on the medical examination report.

It is of no question that sexual contact occurred between defendant and victim.

However, there is no evidence that any struggle or resistance occurred based on the officer’s initial observation of the alleged crime scene combined with the lack of evidence presented in both the medical examination report and in the testimony of victim’s sister.

The one piece of evidence that may have been useful to give credibility to the victim would have been DNA samples from under her fingernails. If such samples contained defendant’s DNA, one could conclude that she did indeed scratch defendant.

However, no evidence exists showing defendant was scratched or bitten as victim reported.

Victim texted her boyfriend to come help her while defendant was using the restroom. If victim had any indication that something wasn’t right or that she was in trouble, one might question why 911 was not called instead.

When victims boyfriend arrived, the door was unlocked, and no sexual contact was taking place, yet defendant remained, which is logically inconsistent with how a person would act if they had just committed a crime as serious as sexual assault.

To not flee the scene, especially after victim’s boyfriend arrived, is uncharacteristic behavior of someone that has just committed a sexual assault crime.

We must logically then conclude that because the officer pulled him over shortly after leaving the residence and released him, that neither the victim or victim’s sister had reported a home invasion or sexual assault to the police.

That indeed these charges were brought up by the prosecution after a lengthy time of deliberation on the matter.

We must logically conclude that because the victim’s testimony has thus far been inconsistent and that there is no evidence to support any of her accusations or claims, that victims testimony is not credible.

The testimony of the victim’s boyfriend contained nothing of any substance pertaining to whether or not a sexual assault occurred other than claims that victim had bruises and scratches on her leg. Once again, there is a lack of evidence to support this claim as the medical examiner’s report and testimony showed nothing of the sort.

The testimony of the victim’s sister — that there were no bruises or scratches — is consistent with that of the medical examiner’s report.

The defendant testified to having sexual contact with the victim that the prosecution had no evidence of and could have very easily omitted from his testimony leaving the prosecution no way to prove it.

The defendant’s testimony and that of the victim’s sister are not contradicted by other evidence, therefore, retain all credibility.

To convict someone of the above crimes, it must be established beyond a reasonable doubt that these crimes have been committed.

Without any police reports, medical examinations, or other evidence to back up the accusations and claims made by the victim, there is a lack of evidence to know beyond a reasonable doubt that these crimes were committed.

Therefore, it would be illogical to arrive at a guilty verdict on any of the above charges.

Verdict

mark jasper found not guilty

After considering all evidence, the 12 jurors came to a unanimous verdict of not guilty in less than 90 minutes.

Character witnesses and other witness testimony that were not mentioned above were more than likely unnecessary due to the lack of evidence presented by prosecution.

Case Controversy

case controversy

One thing that remains controversial that has not been verified is that supposedly two other women were barred from testifying at this trial with similar accusations as the victim.

If this is true, their testimonies would have had no effect on this specific case.

There would be no point in producing witnesses to testify on other alleged crimes. Each alleged crime should/would have to undergo the same due process as this trial and would only serve as a distraction from the facts in this trial.

Because these witnesses have no relevancy in any of the key events in this particular case, and because no such other case has been pursued by these witnesses, these testimonies would lack credibility even if they were allowed they would not in any way help the jury determine whether or not the above alleged crimes took place.

If there was evidence or testimony missing from this case, it is the fault of the prosecution and no one else. There was no logical way to arrive at a guilty verdict for these three charges based on the evidence and testimony presented in this case.

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