Klaudt Found Guilty On All Counts
November 6, 2007, 10:02 PM
Guilty on all counts. That's the verdict returned by the jury in the rape trial of former lawmaker Ted Klaudt.
It took the jury just a little over three hours to find Ted Klaudt guilty of rape.
Klaudt never denied lying to his former foster daughters, so that he could perform genital exams on them. But his defense argued the girl's allowed him to do it willingly.
The jury didn't buy it.
Following the verdict, we spoke with one of the jurors off camera. He said the victims were believable, and the rest of the evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Ted Klaudt coerced his foster daughters into letting him perform phony gynecological tests. That proved to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Klaudt is guilty of rape.
As they entered the courtroom with Ted Klaudt's verdict in hand, most of the jurors avoided eye contact with the former lawmaker.
"Obviously they saw this case for what it was. It was rape. That's we are argued, that these girls did not consent to what happened to them," Prosecutor Patty DeVaney said.
After the verdict was read, Klaudt left the courtroom still free on bail, showing little emotion.
Klaudt never denied that he made up an elaborate lie to perform vaginal exams on two of his foster daughters. He told them they could earn money by donating their eggs to a fertility clinic. But his defense was that they did it willingly and weren't coerced. That argument didn't hold up with jurors.
"There's just no question that were coerced into what they did. And the verdict shows they understood that," DeVaney said.
The women can feel vindicated that the jury believed them, after the painful and embarrassing testimony they went through.
"There were a number of different ways they were manipulated and deceived, from money to being betrayed by a parent figure," DeVaney said.
For Klaudt, it could mean up to a hundred years in prison.
"It hurts. We're going to figure out where to go from here," Klaudt's attorney Tim Rensch said.
Klaudt still faces another trial for acts against these same two victims at his home in Corson County. That trial is scheduled to start next week and he faces another 189 years in prison if he's guilty there. Klaudt's lawyer says they haven't decided whether there will be any sort of plea.
Neither of the victims were in the courtroom tonight for the verdict.
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