PRINCETON — Gibson Circuit Court jurors acquitted a Fort Branch man tried on felony counts of rape, sexual battery, strangulation, criminal confinement and misdemeanor trespass this week.

Patrick S. Graves, 39, was charged in December 2020 in connection with a Sept. 27 incident at an apartment complex in Fort Branch, and his trial opened Monday in Gibson Circuit Court before Judge Jeffrey Meade.

Jurors were seated and testimony opened Monday afternoon. According to court records, the judge released one juror Tuesday morning, over the objection of defense attorneys James McDonald and Lisa Moody. Judge Meade seated one of the alternate jurors on the panel before the day’s testimony opened.

Graves testified Tuesday afternoon, the sole defense witness presented following the four prosecution witnesses heard by the jury.

Following closing arguments, jurors began deliberation at 4 p.m. and returned with a verdict at about 7 p.m., acquitting him on all charges.


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