Jury finds East Lyme man not guilty of sexually assaulting teen
A New London jury found a 44-year-old Niantic man not guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager following about two hours of deliberation Tuesday in Superior Court.
Raza Rahi of 15 Freedom Way, Apt. 7, dropped to the courtroom floor and prayed upon hearing he had been acquitted of second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and illegal sexual contact with the intimate parts of a minor. Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed thanked the six-member jury and dismissed the case.
"Thank God," Rahi said on the way out of the courtroom.
The alleged victim had testified last week about incidents she said took place in the past in another state and locally during the spring and summer of 2017. Senior Assistant State's Attorney Theresa Anne Ferryman also had elicited testimony from the girl's mother, who was highly emotional, stormed out of the courtroom during a break and referred to Rahi's attorney as a "bully" on her way out of the courtroom.
Rahi, represented by attorney Michael A. Blanchard of the Suisman Shapiro law firm, had testified in his own defense, saying the incidents never happened. Blanchard introduced to the jury text messages indicating the girl's mother threatened to call police and report the incidents if Rahi didn't pay her.
"I'm glad the jury system worked," Blanchard said.
Stories that may interest you
A Rhode Island man was killed and another person injured in a head-on crash Monday on Pendleton Hill Road.
Devon Lopez is described as a white female with black hair and brown eyes. She is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds. She was last seen wearing black and purple joggers and a black checkered sweatshirt.
Casey Moreo faces multiple weapons charges stemming from a Sept. 15, 2020, incident in which police say he pointed a banned AR-15 from his apartment window at children playing outside.
Devon Lopez is described as white, with black hair, brown eyes, five feet, nine inches tall and 130 pounds.