The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for less than seven hours before announcing that they were hung on charges of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Earlier, when she testified in June, against accusations of drugging and raping a stranger on a sidewalk, Elizabeth Lederer, 43, accused defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom of ripping her clothes in front of her eyes during the attack in New York City in 2015. When she was hospitalized after the attack, doctors said she suffered from gender dysphoria, the nightmarish process of identifying with a different gender than your biological sex.
In the courtroom, the jury of 10 women and two men was shown numerous photos of Elizabeth Lederer in her blue dress and heels, with a high heel shoe on her shoe.
Prosecutors claimed that he allegedly sneaked behind Lederer’s back into her apartment, and made her drink a full glass of drink that was laced with Ambien and Zoloft. Lederer said she didn’t know what was in the glass and turned it down. The next morning, she woke up to find the man standing next to her and calling her name.
This video shows that a New York jury found Rittenhouse, a community banker and chamber of commerce vice president, not guilty of first-degree rape on Thursday. In July, a Philadelphia jury acquitted Rittenhouse, 53, of attempted first-degree rape, and falsely accusing a woman of sexual assault on the same street in 2015. Both verdicts.
Renan Caiozzi, head of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, is captured on video offering Rittenhouse a “piece of his mind” when he learned of the jury’s guilty verdict, six years after the attack on Lederer.
Bergstrom, the defense attorney for Rittenhouse, called the verdict “disappointing.” Rittenhouse, a married father of four, has been a local community banker, chamber of commerce vice president and co-owner of a popular restaurant since 2014. He is also on the boards of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Angelou Institute.
In June, his accuser, Elizabeth Lederer, had testified that Bergstrom dragged her into a subway station and sexually assaulted her.
The French government issued a “deeply resounding condemnation” of Wednesday’s jury’s verdict. “It is with great regret that we learned that underappreciated French professionals, who work for the public good, have been treated so badly,” France’s undersecretary of state for Europe and global affairs, Nicolas Hulot, said. “And it is with great concern that we wish them luck as they try to put things back in order.”
See photos of the protests that have erupted since the Rittenhouse verdict, with some residents in the neighborhood attacking the anti-rape activist group, LUCHA.
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conversely, not all of the protesters’ anger was directed at Rittenhouse. “It’s not time to celebrate the acquittal of Bruce Rittenhouse. Rape survivors know the struggle with justice isn’t over,” Amnesty International’s U.S. director, Kumi Naidoo, tweeted. He added that “wishes aside, someone needs to take responsibility for the appalling actions of Rittenhouse.”