Some months ago we reported on the Vanderbilt University rape case in which two former students were convicted of raping a young woman on campus. Things have taken a turn though now that the judge has determined there was a mistrial.
“This ruling does not, in any way, affect the evidence that exists; nor does it affect the state’s resolve to vigorously pursue justice in this matter,” a statement from the Nashville District Attorney’s Office reads. “Justice may be delayed but it will not be denied.” But when a new trial date can be set is yet to be determined.
A statement issued on behalf of the juror maintains he did not lie during the jury selection process. “He has immense remorse about the impact this is having on the victim and parties involved,” his attorney Sunny Eaton said.
Prosecutors argued that Easter never considered himself a victim and that’s why he didn’t identify as such. Reportedly he did not try to influence other jurors, therefore prosecutors believe the verdict should stand.
But the judge in his decision noted the juror’s credibility was suspect.
During jury selection, Easter said his past involvement with the justice system was only a minor marijuana charge. But at the mistrial hearing, he acknowledged he’d also been in traffic court for traffic tickets and for another incident.
Watkins wrote that he found it hard to believe that Easter, when asked outright if he knew a victim of sexual assault, did not think of the 2000 case given that the incident caused him to seek counseling for 18 months and resulted in a prison sentence for his former boyfriend.