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BOWLING GREEN – A Caroline County Circuit Court jury has acquitted a teenager who was accused of raping a fellow student in the auditorium of Caroline High School.
Isaiah Juwaun Howard, 16, of Ruther Glen, was found not guilty Wednesday evening. A jury of nine women and three men reached the verdict after deliberating for 20 minutes.
Howard was tried as an adult although he was a 15-year-old freshman at the time he was accused.
He was charged with raping a 15-year-old sophomore in the auditorium after school hours on Oct. 13, 2011. The doors to the auditorium normally are locked, but an after-school program had been held that day.
The girl testified during the trial and described the incident.
She also testified that she and Howard got into an argument earlier in the day and that he called her names.
Defense attorney Lee Kilduff argued that she was angry over being embarrassed in front of other students and was motivated to get back at Howard, who did not testify.
A school surveillance video camera recorded the two students entering and leaving the auditorium.
The girl reported the incident to a friend who reported the conversation to an assistant principal. The assistant principal confirmed the allegation with the girl, and Howard subsequently was arrested.
School administrators tightened procedures after the incident in order to improve security.