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Druckenmiller Acquitted of Rape

July 22, 1999 GMT

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) _ San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jim Druckenmiller was acquitted Thursday of raping a 22-year-old woman.

``The evidence just wasn’t there,″ said Keith McCarter, foreman of the nine-man, three-woman jury that deliberated about an hour.

As the verdict was read, Druckenmiller breathed a sigh of relief and winked at a supporter sitting in the courtroom. He hugged his lawyers and his parents, who were present throughout the trial.

Druckenmiller’s accuser contended she was raped after a night of drinking when she was too drunk to resist. Druckenmiller was visiting his alma mater and staying at a Blacksburg house where the alleged assault occurred.

``Mr. Druckenmiller took advantage of a drunken girl. He took her clothes off. She was fuzzy, she didn’t know what was going on around her when she awakened,″ assistant prosecutor Skip Schwab said in closing arguments.

The defense contended the sex was consensual.

``She has a selective memory to recall what she wants to remember, and black out what she doesn’t want to remember,″ defense lawyer Bev Davis told the jury. ``She was kissing him, telling him he was hot, and that she wanted to have sex with him.″

Druckenmiller, 26, could have faced five years to life in prison if convicted. He did not testify.

Druckenmiller, his accuser and several friends went out partying at two bars before going to the house. Three men who know Druckenmiller testified Wednesday they heard his accuser say she wanted to have sex with him.

The woman testified that she didn’t recall kissing Druckenmiller or telling him she loved him and wanted to have sex.

Earlier Thursday, the defense played a tape recording of Druckenmiller’s conversation with a police sergeant the day after the alleged attack.

Druckenmiller told the officer the woman was awake while they had sex and that they undressed each other beforehand. She testified that she passed out and woke up to find Druckenmiller on top of her.

On the recording made by the officer, Druckenmiller said he asked the woman after having sex if everything was OK and she said, ``I’m drunk. I know what I’m doing. Everything’s fine.″

He said she started crying when she realized her friends had gone home without her. She declined Druckenmiller’s offer of a ride and called a friend instead, he said.

The officer asked Druckenmiller if he knew why she had started to cry and he said, ``Maybe she was regretting what she had done,″ according to the tape.