North Haverhill — Parker Gilbert ’16 was found not guilty of rape Thursday afternoon. The jurors acquitted Gilbert, 21, of all charges: five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and one count of criminal trespass.
Friends and family of Gilbert filled the courtroom Thursday afternoon. His parents held hands as the verdict was announced.
Gilbert was found not guilty of vaginal penetration through force, vaginal penetration through concealment or by the element of surprise before the alleged victim had an adequate chance to flee or resist, vaginal penetration when the alleged victim was physically helpless to resist because she was sleeping, vaginal penetration without free consent, anal penetration without free consent and criminal trespass.
The verdict came after nearly two weeks of testimony from family members, law enforcement officials, medical professionals, undergraduates and experts.
“We are relieved that this nightmare is over for Parker Gilbert and his family,” Gilbert’s attorneys wrote in a statement. “Parker is innocent and we thank the men and women of the jury for doing their job.”
County prosecutor Lara Saffo also thanked the jury in a statement.
“We know that these are difficult cases,” Saffo said.
The prosecution alleged that Gilbert raped the 19-year-old complainant vaginally, orally and anally in the early morning of May 2, 2013. The defense stated that the two had engaged in consensual sex, arguing that the events of May 2 were “drunken, awkward, college sex,” not rape.
Gilbert, who is no longer enrolled in classes at Dartmouth, did not testify.
Amy Olson, the College’s senior media relations officer, responded to the verdict in an emailed statement on Thursday afternoon.
“We know that many members of the community have been following the case of the State v. Gilbert with a range of emotions,” Olson said in the statement. “At this time, we are focused on the well-being of the community and moving forward.”
After beginning its deliberations Wednesday afternoon, the 12-person jury, comprising six men and six women, reconvened at 9 a.m. Thursday and returned with a decision about four hours later.
On Monday, Judge Peter Bornstein dismissed a charge of oral penetration and one of two anal penetration charges. The Court dismissed two charges of simple sexual assault on Feb. 25.
The team defending Gilbert included Cathy Green of Green and Utter, Robert Cary ’86 of Williams and Connolly and George Ostler ’77 of DesMeules, Olmstead and Ostler.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.