DiRocco child rape trial ends in hung jury on 10 of 11 counts

By EMILY CUTTS

@ecutts_HG

Published: 05-16-2017 7:53 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge declared a mistrial on all but one of the 11 charges brought against a former Easthampton man accused of raping and assaulting two young girls.

Kevin DiRocco, 43, was found not guilty on a charge of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

DiRocco, who now lives in Springfield, was charged in October 2015 with aggravated rape and abuse of a child, two counts of rape and abuse of a child, and eight counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

At that time, he denied all the charges and was released on bail pending the trial.

The Gazette generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. DiRocco and the alleged victims were known to each other.

Over the course of Thursday and Monday, the eight men and four women of the jury spent about 10 hours in deliberations and thrice sent a note telling Judge John Agostini they had not reached a unanimous verdict.

“The bottom line is the jury has indicated they will not be changing their positions in this case,” Agostini told defense attorneys Rachel Weber and Jennifer Rosenthal and Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Caleb Weiner about the content of the note.

The final note, which resulted in a mistrial, came around 3:30 p.m.

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“Your honor, all of the jurors’ voices have been freely expressed and heard and they have considered all the evidence. Our findings have resulted in our conclusion that on one indictment we are unanimous in finding the defendant not guilty,” the note read.

“On the remaining 10 indictments we are not in agreement — 11 jurors voting not guilty and one juror voting guilty. No juror has changed their position since ... Thursday — and all jurors have stated that they will not be changing their position.”

After Agostini read the note, the jury was brought into the courtroom and given instructions to determine the verdict on the one unanimous count.

As the not-guilty verdict was read, DiRocco wiped tears away from his eyes.

DiRocco and his attorneys, Weber and Rosenthal, declined to comment after the court proceedings. 

"While we are disappointed by this outcome, we appreciate the jury's work,” Weiner said in a statement Friday night. “We are proud of the courage and fortitude of the victims in this case and we believe in them.”

Over the course of the trial last week, two women, now in their early 20s, told the jury about the alleged sexual assaults they said occurred over the span of a decade beginning when they were as young as 3 years old.

Taking the stand in his own defense, DiRocco repeatedly denied the allegations.

Weiner said a determination will be made with the two young women as to whether a second trial will occur.

This story has been updated. Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.

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