Al Garcia, the former city hall power broker on trial last week for raping one of his clients, was found not guilty this afternoon. Garcia and his family wept when the jury returned its verdict, after a few hours of deliberation.
In his closing arguments this morning, Garcia's lawyer, Paul Edlund, raised questions about the prosecution's case. "Albert Garcia is a lot of things, but one thing he's not is a rapist," Edlund told the jury. Edlund acknowledged that the evidence of the case was consistent with Garcia having sex with his alleged victim, but said there was no evidence that the sex was forced or coerced. "It's the state's job to show that it was not consensual, Edlund said. "The evidence doesn't support that."
Garcia still faces witness-tampering charges over phone calls in which he may have sought to prevent his accuser from testifying. The first hearing in that case is scheduled for next Monday.