Second mistrial in ex-Navy commander’s attempted rape trial
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A deadlocked jury led to a second mistrial Monday in the case of a former Navy commander charged with the attempted rape of a junior officer in San Diego.
The panel was dismissed after being unable to reach a unanimous decision on three major counts against John M. Neuhart, according to Superior Court spokeswoman Karen Dalton. A previous jury deadlocked last December.
A status conference was set for April 23 to determine how to proceed.
Neuhart, 41, was charged with assaulting a Navy lieutenant in 2016. She worked under his command in a helicopter squadron in Guam.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims on sexual assault.
The junior officer testified that Neuhart forced his way into her 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.
Neuhart was relieved of his command following his arrest but is still in the Navy. He testified at the first trial but didn’t take the stand during the retrial.
Jurors told Judge Laura Halgren on Monday that they were deadlocked 10-2 for guilt on a charge of attempted rape. They split 7-5 for guilt on a charge of assault with intent to commit rape during a burglary and 2-10 for guilt on a charge of resisting or delaying an officer.
During the trial both sides acknowledged that the woman 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.
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.