The decision had to be unanimous, which means all 12 jurors felt Joshua Woody was not guilty of rape and aggravated assault beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecution argued from the beginning that the woman did not, nor was she able to give consent. Also from the start, the defense said drunk sex is not a crime and there was no evidence linking Mr. Woody to any crimes.
“They didn’t even question what she was saying to you because they simply took her word for it and started the investigation with the assumption that Josh had drugged her with no evidence, zero.”
The prosecutor said, in surveillance footage of the two going back to her hotel room, she looked like a zombie and Woody had to be the one to use her key card since she could not.
The defense said the woman walked in just fine on her own and even seemed affectionate towards Woody. The woman testified she woke up feeling like she’d been drugged with barely any memory of the night before.
However, the defense called a pharmacology and toxicology expert who said the alcohol she drank plus the medicines she’s prescribed could cause the type of blackout she described. The defense also said there was no hard evidence of any kind of date rape drugs in Mr. woody’s possession nor in the woman’s system.
The prosecution argued it was because the woman feared what would happen and by the time she came forward, it was too late, which they said accounts for the lack of DNA as well.
The woman testified she woke up with bruises on her breasts, neck and throat. A nurse testified to those injuries also. An ex-girlfriend of Woody’s testified that he liked rough sex. The prosecution said the circumstantial evidence– things like witness testimony– was overwhelming and confirmed the woman’s account.
In his closing statements, the prosecutor said this about the defense’s tactics.
“He was telling you that you hold his life in your hands, and this is a capital offense and think about what you’re doing. Think about what he did to her. He held her life in his hands and he destroyed her.”
Ultimately, the jury came to this conclusion.
Court Reporter: “As to count 1, not guilty, count 2, not guilty, count 3, not guilty.”
Defense co-counsel George Weaver said, “Obviously Mr. Dutcher and I, are very happy on behalf of the defendant. We feel that the jury has reached the correct result and justice has been done. Mr. Woody has been in jail for almost 7 months. We feel, the charges should have never been brought and they were defective from the beginning. Mr. Woody looks forward to resuming his life.”
Mr. Weaver says Joshua Woody served in the military for 14 years and has managed fitness centers at Fort Gordon since 2013. The woman in this case is from out of state. She was here for work at Fort Gordon on behalf of the department of defense.
UPDATE: A man charged with rape and aggravated assault has been found not guilty.
Joshua Woody was accused of drugging and raping a woman he met at a bar in July.
The defense argued the encounter was consensual.
Count on NewsChannel 6 for more information on this developing story.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The trial of a Grovetown man will continue tomorrow. Joshua Woody is charged with 2 counts of aggravated assault and 1 count of rape for a June incident.
Newschannel 6’s Ashley Osborne has been in the courtroom all day. She breaks down some of what has happened so far.
A couple things to note first, it is important to remember that the burden of proof lies with the state to prove that the suspect did in fact commit the crimes of which is he accused. Joshua Woody, the suspect in this case, is innocent until proven guilty. That is the whole point of the trial.
The next, NewsChannel 6 cannot, nor would we, release the identity of the woman who reported this incident. She was the first witness to take the stand.
The details of this case, as she describes them, are arguably every woman’s worst nightmare or at least somewhere near the top of the list.
She works for the Department of Defense and visited Augusta in June for business at Fort Gordon. She says she went to dinner, then out for drinks. At her final stop, she remembers talking to the suspect, going to the bathroom and coming back to her seat at the bar, but has no memory after that other than what she called “3 flashes.”
In her testimony, she said she woke up the next morning in terrible pain. She says she had bruises on her breasts, her neck and vaginal region were sore. A nurse testified that she saw bruises on the woman’s throat and breasts days later.
The defense argued bruises do not equal assault since they could appear after consensual sex also.
Surveillance footage, mentioned by both the prosecution and the defense, they say shows the victim leave the bar with the suspect and go back to her hotel. The burden of proof falls on the state to prove to the jury that the suspect, Joshua Woody, raped and assaulted the woman.
The defense argues the woman had too much to drink and the encounter was consensual.
This trial is expected to extend throughout the week, potentially longer.