HUDSON — A mistrial was declared Wednesday in the rape case against Jeffrey Barmen in Columbia County Court.
Barmen, 44, of Stockport, was accused of forcing a woman he knows to have sexual intercourse in March in the town of Kinderhook. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree rape, a class B felony; at his arraignment March 20 after his indictment by a Columbia County grand jury.
Barmen will get a new trial Jan. 7 after 12 jurors, including six men and six women, announced Wednesday they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case. The jury deliberated for about 20 hours over the course of three days, but struggled to reach a consensus.
“I commend them for their service, but I think it is time for the members of the jury to go home,” defense attorney Anthony Pastel said before motioning for a mistrial.
Columbia County Judge Richard Koweek said at the outset of the case, he anticipated the trial would take about five days.
Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty asked Koweek to give the jurors more time to deliberate.
“I am of the opinion that if I gave them until next Wednesday, a different result would not occur because they are deadlocked,” Koweek said without the jury present.
The trial began with jury selection Nov. 26. Testimony began Nov. 28 and took a total of eight hours, Koweek said. The jury began deliberations at 11:45 a.m. on Nov. 30.
“Your efforts did not go unnoticed,” Koweek said to the jurors before dismissing them. “I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your service.”
Since his arrest March 20, Barmen maintained his innocence, testifying the sex between him and the woman was consensual.
Many details of Barmen’s and the woman’s testimonies could not be reported because it would identify the alleged victim. The Register-Star does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Pastel maintained the prosecution had no physical evidence and no evidence that the woman did not report her crime to friends or the police.
In his opening statement, Carty told the jury he would assess the credibility of the two witnesses.
The woman was the prosecution’s sole witness, and told jurors about the terror she felt during and after the alleged rape.
The jury sent seven notes to Koweek during deliberations, asking several times to hear Barmen’s and the woman’s testimony, but remained deadlocked as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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