Aussie farmer acquitted in US rape trial

AN Australian farmer has walked out of a New York court a free man after a jury took just five hours of deliberations to acquit him of allegations he raped a woman during a wild night of drinking and partying in Manhattan.

David Green, 29, a sheep and cattle farmer from northern New South Wales who was locked up in New York’s infamous Riker’s Island jail the past 18 months awaiting trial, had one simple request.

“I want a steak and a beer,” an emotional Mr Green, surrounded by family and friends who flew in from Australia to support him during the trial, told the New York Post newspaper.

Mr Green plans to hit back hard at the 28-year-old Long Island woman who accused him of the rape by filing a $US1 million civil lawsuit against her.

“We are filing a lawsuit against the complainant in the case for $US1 million basically because she filed false charges against my client and he spent 18 months in jail because of it,” Mr Green’s lawyer, Ron Fischetti said.

Mr Green faced a 25-year jail sentence.

The 12-member New York jury, however, did not buy the woman’s story that Mr Green raped her while she was unconscious on a bed in his hotel room.

Mr Green and his three friends were bar-hopping in Manhattan on August 15, 2005, when they bumped into the woman and her female friend. The two groups, who had never met, returned to Mr Green’s suite at Manhattan’s Affinia hotel where they continued drinking.

On Monday Mr Green took to the witness stand and told the jury the woman performed a consensual sex act on him, but they did not have intercourse.

Last week the woman told a different story, testifying how she blacked out after consuming a large quantity of alcohol and woke up on a bed in the suite where Mr Green was having sex with her.

“The jury obviously didn’t believe the complainant or her friend,” Mr Fischetti said.

“We spoke to the jurors afterward and that’s why they acquitted him. They said it was just a false story.”

Mr Green still may face jail time as the jury convicted him of a reckless endangerment charge for throwing bottles, plates and cups off the balcony of his 26th floor hotel suite during the drunken night.

He admitted doing so during his testimony on Monday, but his lawyer believes he will be sentenced for time served.

Mr Green will be sentenced next month.

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