By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
8:37 PM EST, January 6, 2012
Jurors deliberated for nearly eight hours Friday without reaching a verdict in the case of a Baltimore County man accused of being one of three attackers who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at a Woodlawn roller skating rink in 2010.
The jury received the case of Davon Perry, 26, late Friday morning after some of the charges against him were dropped. He now faces second-degree rape and second-degree sex offense charges in connection with the incident at the former Skateworks rink. Perry no longer faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
Baltimore County Circuit Judge Mickey Norman had granted a defense motion Thursday to dismiss a number of charges against Perry, including first-degree rape and first-degree sex offense.
Then, on Friday, prosecutors dropped two misdemeanor charges — second-degree assault and perverted practice.
Jurors heard closing arguments from the prosecution and defense Friday. Shortly before 7 p.m., they sent the judge a note saying that they could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charges. They are scheduled to resume deliberations Monday morning.
Perry is the oldest of three males the victim says assaulted her, one after the other, in a dark storage room at Skateworks on Aug. 14, 2010, about eight days after the girl's 12th birthday.
Last year, Kadeem R. Santiful, 19, pleaded guilty to a second-degree sex offense in the case. He is scheduled to be sentenced this month.
Tracey W. Hankins, 16, was charged as an adult in the case, but his case was moved to juvenile court after he agreed to make statements to prosecutors. Juvenile court proceedings are not public.
In closing arguments, prosecutor Stephanie Porter asked jurors to imagine how the victim felt in the dark room that night, saying that "young plus naive equals vulnerable."
"She didn't know how to get herself out of that situation," Porter said. "She just didn't know. She's 12."
The Baltimore Sun does not identify victims of sexual crimes.
Defense attorney Roland Brown focused on testimony showing that none of Perry's DNA was found on the victim, while Santiful's and Hankins' were. He also said the girl's testimony in court did not match what she told police.
"I'm not saying she's lying," Brown said repeatedly throughout his closing statements. "I'm just saying she's confused."
Porter had told jurors that rapists do not always leave DNA evidence, and that such evidence is "a small piece of a large puzzle."
Brown said the victim, now 13, was not as naive as prosecutors portrayed her to be. He made reference to the revealing shorts she was wearing, and said she stayed out at parties until 11:30 p.m.
Earlier in the trial, which began Tuesday, the victim pointed to Perry as the third person to attack her in the storage room. She said the only light in the room was coming from under the door and that she was not facing the door when she said Perry walked in. Hankins also testified that Perry was in the room that night.
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