Manhattan Jury Clears Ex-Prosecutor of Rape and Assault Charges
A former Boston prosecutor who was charged with rape and sexual abuse in Manhattan last year was acquitted of all charges by a jury on Friday.
The former prosecutor, Adam Foss, a prominent criminal justice-reform advocate, was accused of raping a 25-year-old woman while she slept in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room in October 2017. Mr. Foss, 43, said their encounter was consensual.
Mr. Foss’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said in a statement after the verdict that her client wanted to express his “sincere appreciation to the jury and judge for their diligent discernment of the truth in a complex case.”
“As Mr. Foss turns the page on this chapter, he looks forward to time with his wife and young son,” she said, adding that he was “carefully evaluating his legal options to address the grave impact these false accusations have had on his life.”
Mr. Foss was a prosecutor in the Suffolk County, Mass., district attorney’s office. He became nationally known after leaving the office in 2016 and starting the nonprofit organization Prosecutor Impact, which trained prosecutors in practices he believed could lower incarceration rates. A frequent speaker about mass incarceration, he was also featured as one of Fast Company’s most creative people and The Root’s 100 most influential Black Americans.
The trial loss was significant for the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, who has made the prosecution of sex crimes a priority. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bragg said prosecutors were disappointed by the verdict but respected the jury’s decision.
The verdict followed a two-week trial and several days of deliberations by the jury focused on what happened the night of Mr. Foss’s encounter with the woman.
The two exchanged texts and calls for about a month before meeting at the hotel, prosecutors said. While they were in the hotel room, prosecutors said, the woman repeatedly rebuffed Mr. Foss’s sexual advances before she fell asleep and he assaulted her.
During closing arguments this week, Ms. Chaudhry sought to undermine the accuser’s account as not credible. Ms. Chaudhry described her client’s account of the night at the hotel in detail for the jury, and cited text exchanges between the woman and a friend later in which the woman described the night with Mr. Foss as “cute” and said he was “beautiful.”
The woman’s account of what happened changed after Mr. Foss “ghosted her,” Ms. Chaudhry said.
“You may think that Mr. Foss should have been more considerate,” Ms. Chaudhry told the jury, adding, “But that is far different than deciding beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a rape.”
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