27-year-old Rockport man acquitted of sex assault on woman who passed out at his house

Posted Sept. 19, 2012, at 7:38 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 27-year-old Rockport man was acquitted Wednesday afternoon of sexually assaulting a young woman who had passed out at his home after a night of drinking.

A Knox County jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before finding that William S. Holbrook was not guilty of gross sexual assault.

The verdict occurred after the courthouse had closed for the day. Neither Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald or defense attorney Steven Peterson could be reached for comment about the verdict.

Opening statements were held Tuesday morning. The prosecution presented its case, including from the alleged victim, through noon Wednesday. Holbrook took the stand Tuesday, Peterson said Tuesday afternoon.

In opening statements, Fernald said the woman had gone out drinking at the Smokestack Grill in Camden on the night of July 30, 2010. She met some friends and decided eventually to go to the home of a female friend.

The woman eventually passed out around 3 a.m. on the couch at the friend’s home. The prosecutor said the woman woke up at 5 a.m. to find her female friend’s boyfriend having sex with her. The victim was shocked and pushed Holbrook away, Fernald said.

He told jurors during opening statements that DNA evidence would prove Holbrook had sex with the victim.

Peterson urged jurors to keep an open mind and pointed out that the standard of proof was high to prove the alleged crime. He added that the case would come down to the credibility of witnesses.

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