- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A deadlocked jury led to a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a former Navy commander charged with trying to rape a junior officer in San Diego.

The judge declared a mistrial after jurors voted 11-1 to convict John M. Neuhart II of attempted rape and assault with intent to commit rape.

Prosecutors said they may retry him.

“I am confident we will secure a conviction and justice for the victim,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Tag said outside court.

Neuhart was charged with assaulting a Navy lieutenant at her San Diego home last fall. She had worked under his command in a helicopter squadron in Guam.

“I have mixed feelings about the result. I obviously wanted not-guilty verdicts across the board, but I am also relieved that the jury did not convict Commander Neuhart of any crimes,” defense attorney Kerry Armstrong said in a statement to KNSD-TV.

Both sides acknowledged that the woman, identified only as “Kristin B.,” was intoxicated after drinking heavily with Neuhart earlier at a hotel bar. Hotel surveillance video showed her hugging and kissing him. They drove back to her home in a limousine.

But the officer testified that Neuhart then forced his way into her Valencia Park home and attacked her, only stopping when her screams alerted a neighbor.

Neuhart ran out a back door and was caught by police after he fell and broke a leg.

Jurors heard video from Neuhart’s cellphone in which she screams at him to leave and tells him some 90 times to stop trying to have sex with her.

Neuhart testified that the woman consented to going home and having sex with him. He said he recorded part of their encounter in case the woman later alleged rape.

Neuhart has been relieved of his command but remains in the Navy.


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