Alexandru Hossu, former live-in trainer of Putnam County District Attorney, found not guilty in rape case
CARMEL - Alexandru Hossu, the former live-in trainer of Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, has been found not guilty in a child rape case.
Hossu was accused of raping his former girlfriend's then 13-year-old daughter back in 2010. The not-guilty verdict comes after days of deliberating and just one day after the jury claimed it was deadlocked.
The judge in the trial ordered jurors to keep deliberating even after they said they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.
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The jury deliberated for one hour Thursday. Eleven of the jurors decided on Tuesday that Hossu was innocent, but it took two days to convince the final male juror that he was innocent.
Jurors told News 12 that the accuser's story was simply too difficult to believe. After rehearing more testimony, jurors say they were able to convince the holdout by reminding him of when the girl said she was raped and then by showing him her conflicting phone records.
Hossu broke into tears when the verdict was announced.
Hossu's attorney says the case was a slam dunk. "To anyone who watched this case for the past three weeks, they knew the verdict was a foregone conclusion. He is innocent " says attorney Daniel Mentzer.
Mentzer says he believes this case was more about a political battle between Levy and Sheriff Don Smith than it was about Hossu.
It is unknown at this time what will happen next to Hossu since he was taken into federal custody on immigration charges.
The case was being handled by the Westchester County District Attorney's Office after Levy, who was initially on the case, recused himself from involvement. The office put out a statement saying it was confident in the prosecution of the case, and that it respects the verdict.