A jury found James Spero found not guilty Monday on charges of raping an 18-year-old woman in 2020 in Grand Haven Township.
The trial began Tuesday, Feb. 21, and with some delays due to weather, concluded Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing’s courtroom.
Over the course of several days, jurors heard from witnesses at a party that took place on July 13, 2020; and from police and lab technicians who conduct rape kits; and learned of texts, Snapchat messages and phone calls exchanged between Spero, the victim and others surrounding the alleged incident.
Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney Britta Girmscheid described the victim’s state as “a passed out girl who couldn’t function” and who “woke up the victim of rape.”
Ottawa County Detective Ann Koster stressed during her testimony that Spero’s DNA was not found in the victim’s sexual assault kit.
She also said no witnesses she interviewed gave any indication that the victim was drugged that night.
After about four hours of deliberation, the jury delivered a “not guilty” verdict. All charges have been dropped against Spero.
Spero and his attorney, Michael Boyle, declined to comment following the conclusion of the trial.
Boyle described Spero and his family as “local,” although court documents list his residence as San Marcos, California.
What intern wrote this dumpster fire? Asking a friend
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