Guam – Accused rapist Alvin San Nicolas may get a third chance at trial after a deadlocked jury failed to reach a verdict.
This is the second time San Nicolas is on trial for the same charges of raping his step-daughter. In February of 2012 he was found guilty on all criminal sexual conduct charges but that conviction was overturned on appeal because of a flawed indictment.
And now it appears his defense may have improved its defense strategy as the hung jury spent three days in deliberations before notifying the court that it was deadlocked. The 12-panel jury, plus three alternates is made up of four women and 11 men.
According to court documents, Presiding Judge Anita Sukola ordered the jury to continue deliberations, but after two more days, the jury came back and told the court that it had reached a decision on some charges but not on others.
San Nicolas’ attorney, Pablo Aglubat has filed a motion for “mistrial based on deadlocked jury” and has also objected to the Judge giving an Allen charge. An Allen charge is when a judge urges a jury to reach a verdict after the jury had already come back hung.
The second trial was dramatically charged as both the victim and her mother testified against San Nicolas. The victim also went into detail about the torment and sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of her stepfather while her mother was deployed to Iraq. The victim told the jury that San Nicolas threatened to kill her mother if she told anyone about the rape.
The mother also testified that her ex-husband physically abused her throughout their marriage and that he often set boundaries on the family that prevented mother and daughter from spending time with each other.
However, the defense methodically pointed out that despite the victims claims that she was never allowed outside and that the defendant always kept tabs on her, she often had friends sleep over and was allowed on several occasions to visit relatives and be alone with them. The defense argued that the victim hated her step father so much for abusing her mother that she fabricated stories “to get him out of the house.”
The motion hearing for mistrial has not yet been scheduled. If Judge Sukola rules in favor of the defendant, he may get another trial.