New trial ordered in Roanoke College sexual assault case

Image courtesy of WSET

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) – A judge has dismissed one charge and ordered a retrial on the second charge against a former Roanoke College student accused of sexual assault.

James Douglas Caruso was charged last spring after a classmate accused him of assaulting her.

A jury convicted him of forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration, but acquitted him of aggravated sexual battery.

The Roanoke Times reported that Caruso had been scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Salem Circuit Court.

Instead, a judge granted a defense motion to set aside the jury conviction on the sodomy charge because the evidence did not meet the legal standard. The judge also declared a mistrial on the second charge, citing concern that the jury had difficulty hearing a garbled recording of an excerpt from the woman’s interview with police.

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