SAN DIEGO — A second mistrial has been declared in the trial of a former Navy commander accused of raping a junior officer who was captured on tape telling him 90 times to stop trying to have sex with her.
John Neuhart, 41, was accused of forcing his way into the woman’s San Diego home in 2016 and attacking her. He fled when her screams attracted the attention of a neighbor. He was later caught after he fell into a canyon and broke his leg while trying to get away.
The judge declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the top three counts against Neuhart, An earlier trial also ended with a hung jury in December. Prosecutors said they would review the case before deciding whether to try again.
Neuhart was relieved of his command following his arrest but is still in the Navy. He testified at the first trial but didn’t take the stand during the retrial.
Neuhart had testified in the earlier trial that the woman, a helicopter pilot who had been a lieutenant under his command in Guam, had given him permission to come to her home and have sex.
The two had repeatedly hugged and kissed each other earlier in the night, according to surveillance footage from a hotel they visited and testimony from a taxi driver that took them to the woman’s apartment, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
He said the woman told him earlier in the night that if she said “no” to him, she meant “yes.” During the encounter, Neuhart turned his cellphone’s camera on, he said to record the episode in case she later accused him of rape.
Jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked 10-2 for guilty on the charge of attempted rape. They split 7-5 for guilt on a charge of assault with intent to commit rape during a burglary and 2-10 for guilt on a charge of resisting or delaying an officer.