Paso Robles man acquitted of one rape charge, jury deadlocks on second
July 14, 2016
A Paso Robles man accused of raping his girlfriend’s aunt was acquitted Wednesday of one of two rape charges he faced, and the jury deadlocked on the other count. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has yet to decide whether it will continue prosecuting the case.
Rian Mabus, 31, faced a maximum prison sentence of 10 years if he was convicted of both rape charges.
During Labor Day weekend in 2014, Mabus had sex with his girlfriend’s aunt while she was staying at the Atascadero apartment in which Mabus and his girlfriend were living. The alleged victim testified during the trial that she awoke in a pool of vomit in her niece’s bed where Mabus was penetrating her vagina from behind. The prosecution also said Mabus was whispering the woman’s name in her ear and pushing her face into the pool of vomit while he was raping her.
The alleged victim said she consumed about five drinks earlier that night, and Mabus, who was making the cocktails, may have drugged her.
Mabus initially denied having sex with the woman, but a rape test revealed the presence of his DNA. The defendant testified during the trial that the sex was consensual. The defense argued the alleged victim made up the rape allegation because she was embarrassed she had sex with her niece’s boyfriend and was concerned her daughter may have seen the act.
Following less than one full day of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict on one count and failed to reach a verdict on the other. Jurors acquitted Mabus of a charge of raping a person who is unconscious to the nature of the act. The jury deadlocked 6-6 on a charge of rape of an intoxicated person.
The jury was comprised of 11 men and one woman.
Defense attorney Matt Guerrero said following the verdict that Mabus and he had full faith in the jury. The jurors were very diligent in reviewing all of the facts, Guerrero said.
The district attorney’s office said it is considering whether to refile a charge at a trial setting conference that will take place Tuesday.