Northeast Harbor Man Acquitted of Rape Charge



ELLSWORTH — After deliberating for only 25 minutes, a Hancock County jury Thursday found a Northeast Harbor man not guilty of raping a young woman in January 2008.

 

Joshua Busby, 22, was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old Bar Harbor woman during a party at a home in the Mount Desert village of Seal Harbor. He was charged with gross sexual assault, a class A crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

During the two-day trial, the woman testified that she had been drinking and later woke up in bed with Busby on top of her, engaging in sexual intercourse. She said she protested and tried to get up but Busby had his hands around her throat, choking her.

Busby testified that the sex was consensual. He said he and the woman had been kissing and hugging throughout the evening and the bruise on her neck was a “hickey” and not from choking.

Busby’s attorney, Matthew Foster, argued the woman later said she was raped to deceive her girlfriend — to cover up the fact she willingly had sex with the defendant.

Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett disputed that claim, telling jurors that the woman was reluctant to report the alleged rape and had to be urged by a co-worker and her girlfriend.

“She wasn’t rushing to the doctors to make her girlfriend happy,” Kellett said.

For a full story, see next week’s Mount Desert Islander, available on newsstands Wednesday afternoon.

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