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Federal jury convicts New Mexico man in 2014 rape case

May 11, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a New Mexico man accused of raping a woman and threatening her with a large samurai-type sword several years ago has been found guilty after a four-day jury trial.

A jury in Albuquerque returned a verdict on Thursday afternoon, finding Melvin Russell, of Fruitland, New Mexico, guilty of aggravated sexual abuse.

Authorities say the victim testified during the trial that she was at Russell’s house in May 2014 when he became aggressive toward her, grabbing her around the neck and chocking her before threatening to kill her with the sword and sexually assaulting her.

She sought medical care for injuries the next day.

Russell has not yet been sentenced. His attorney said Friday they were disappointed in the verdict and were planning an appeal.

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