SPOKANE - A jury has found former Air Force SERE School civilian contractor Michael Fassbender not guilty on all charges that he raped a woman at the airbase.
Fassbender, a former contractor for SERE Solutions, was charged with 1st Degree Rape for allegedly taking a woman, who he had met online, out on a date that ended with a visit to a secure area of the airbase where the survival school is located.
It was there that the victim claimed Fassbender stripped her and repeatedly attacked her. However Fassbender told his jury that the sex was consensual and part of the woman's desire was to be man handled.
?For me I think the strongest part of the case was that they were required to show forcible compulsion and that just wasn't there,? defense attorney Chris Phelps said.
Forcible compulsion means using a threat or violence to commit a sexual assault and the victim claimed on the witness stand both happened that night. However the jury wasn't convinced the woman had objected soon enough and acquitted Fassbender on all counts.
After the verdict was read a visibly relieved Fassbender hugged his parents. While cleared of criminal charges he lost his job and reputation in the course of this case.
?This is a victory in court, he won't have the conviction, but how do you ever put a reputation back together his name has been on the internet and in the press and on the news and you don't recover from that,? Phelps said.
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