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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jury finds defendant guilty in Cleveland gang rape case

Jared Len Cruse has been found guilty Wednesday morning by a Liberty County jury of participating in the gang rape of an 11-year-old Cleveland girl.

The jury will now hear testimony during the punishment phase of the trial. Cruse faces a sentence of anywhere from 25 to 99 years in prison.

Prosecutors on Tuesday described Cruse as one of a "pack of dogs" who gang-raped the girl, while the defense likened her to a "spider" who lured men into her web.

Testimony in this case was over in a single day after Cruse, now 20, declined to testify and his attorney, Steve Taylor, rested without calling any witnesses Tuesday.

Cruse is the second of 20 male defendants to be tried for allegedly sexually assaulting the girl over the course of four months in 2010 in Cleveland. The first, Eric McGowen, was convicted and received a sentence of 99 years in prison. Seven juveniles have received probation and six adults received 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in exchange for plea deals.  Full Article

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