The dungeon rapist case resulted in a surprising verdict - not guilty. From CNN:
A jury has acquitted a convicted sex offender of charges he raped two teen girls in an underground bunker.
The jury found Kenneth Glenn Hinson, 48, not guilty of kidnapping, sex crimes and assault with intent to kill.
Hinson wiped his eyes and mouth and appeared to cry after the jury read its verdict, which followed about four hours of deliberations over two days.
"I think the verdict says it all," he said as he was escorted from the courtroom.
Authorities had charged that Hinson snatched the 17-year-old girls from their bedroom last year and dragged them one at a time to the underground room hidden beneath a tool shed, where he raped and bound them with duct tape. Prosecutors said Hinson expected the girls to die because the room had no air supply.
However, Hinson testified during the six-day trial that the girls had consensual sex with him. He said they made up the story so they would be able to take drugs from the underground room, which he used to store marijuana.
The two young women were not in the courtroom when Hinson was acquitted. Their mothers and other relatives wept. They declined to comment after the verdict.
If convicted, Hinson had faced a mandatory life sentence without parole under the state's two-strikes law because he was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl in 1991.
The underground room was about the length and width of a mid-sized car with a ceiling about 41/2 feet high. Hinson testified Sunday that he had built the room behind his trailer where he lived.
Defense attorney Rick Hoefer spent much of his nearly two-hour closing argument Sunday picking apart what he called inconsistencies in the teens' testimony, including how long it took them to call 911 after their alleged escape and whether they saw Hinson with a gun.
Prosecutors said any discrepancies in their stories might have been a result of the trauma the teens went through.
Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors is a bit surprised by the verdict: "I wasn’t in 'the dungeon,' nor in the courtroom while the case was tried, but based on media accounts of what happened, this verdict seems preposterous."
Crime and Consequences is also covering the story.
Jeralyn at TalkLeft has a post up as well.
I think a notable meme in this case was the last part of the media report: that the inconsistencies in the victims' stories ultimately led to the defendant being set free. The prosecution, on the other hand, tried to portray the inconsistencies as the result of rape trauma. This mirrors the arguments made in the Duke Lacrosse case on both sides. However, with Duke, the end result was even more definitive in favor of the defendant. I wonder how this meme will continue to play out in the development of rape narratives in future cases. Certainly, we could see a continued growth of the idea that rape victims are inherently unstable and unreliable which would represent an extension of historical myths to the detriment of rape victims. Either way, this could be a very central narrative structure in certain types of stranger rape cases in the future.