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Trio Found Not Guilty in Covington Rape Case

Three men accused of raping a 16-year old girl in Covington have been found not guilty by a Kenton County jury.

The verdict came in Thursday after a two-week trial.

Jameel Lamont Mason, 24, Donald Conrad, 24, and Elfin Tyler, 25, were acquitted. They had faced a charge of first degree rape of someone physically unable to consent (in this case, due to a blackout). A fourth man charged in the case, Deyshawn Perry, 21, pleaded guilty to unlawful transaction with a minor and agreed to testify against the others. He was not accused of assaulting the girl.

"Once he took the witness stand, however, Perry testified to a version of events which was entirely contrary to every statement he'd previously made to police and prosecutors," said Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders. "Though he was confronted with those previous statements and eventually admitted to making them, it's certainly not good when the prosecution has to impeach its own witness."

The unlawful transaction was supplying the girl with marijuana, according to defense attorney Dennis Alerding, who represented Tyler in the case. Mason and Conrad were represented by public defenders Daniel Schubert, Joseph Holbrook, and conflict public defender Mary Rafizadeh.

According to Alerding, a medical report showed that the 16-year old had semen present from at least two of the men. A photo was taken of the girl during the party, naked from the waist down, and posted to social media. When the girl's mother saw it, after the night in question, she was taken to the hospital where she claimed to have been attacked by three men in the bathroom of a home during a night out. 

"That's the case that got investigated," Alerding said. "Covington Police never went to the house. They would have seen this pic was taken in the kitchen.

"I don't think anything happened. I think a young girl got caught up in a lot of bad juju and it turned a lot of people upside down."

As for the prosecution of the case, Sanders said that no one should mistake "not guilty" for "innocent".

"This case is a textbook example of why, on a national average, so few rape cases ever see the inside of a courtroom," Sanders said. "Rape cases are never easy but that doesn't mean they shouldn't go to trial. I'm proud of the victim who stood up for herself and testified in court despite being called a "tramp" and a "ho" by shameless defense attorneys. I'm proud of my prosecutors who fought for the victim through two straight weeks of trial despite considerable adversity."

Alerding said that one of the other defense attorneys alluded to a double standard for high school boys who are congratulated for sexual escapades while girls are shamed. "But because this photo was blowing up and she was held up to that double standard, she couldn't say she went to a party and got wild and hooked up with a couple guys," he said.
 
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher