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Nebraska jury acquits priest of sexual assault charge

Posted: 4:54 PM, Jan 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-09 17:56:16-05
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ORD, Neb. (AP) — A Valley County jury on Thursday found a Roman Catholic priest not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in his Ord home in 2018.

The Rev. John Kakkuzhiyil was acquitted after his three-day trial concluded Wednesday, television station KSNB reported .

Kakkuzhiyil was arrested early last year following a monthlong investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol after a woman told police he sexually assaulted her in November 2018.

The woman testified that she had worked with Kakkuzhiyil as part of a group mission to Haiti and that she had gone to his house to interview him for a project. She said she blacked out after having several drinks with the priest and at one point woke up in a bed next to the priest as he was performing a sex act on her.

Kakkuzhiyil’s attorney argued the sex was consensual. Kakkuzhiyil did not testify during the trial.

Kakkuzhiyil was the parish priest in Ord and Burwell at the time of the accusation. He was placed on leave in December 2018.