Man innocent of rape, burglary charges

Accuser looking for attention, attorney says

By Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Nov. 30, 2006, 8:38 a.m.)

A jury needed just over two hours Wednesday to acquit a 39-year-old Milwaukee man accused of walking into a former Whitewater woman's apartment and raping her.

The woman accused Almany Feseru of raping her while she was sleeping after taking prescription anti-depressants and Tylenol PM.

"The jury had to believe what she said in order to convict him," defense attorney Christopher L. Hartley said. "I didn't talk to any of the jurors afterward, but I assume the jury didn't believe her."

The woman testified that she was groggy, but thought she felt someone assaulting her on June 21, 2001. She also found a wad of toilet paper near her bed with bodily fluids on it, which later matched Feseru's DNA profile.

Hartley said the two knew each other and they had sexual contact days prior to the date the alleged assault was reported.

The woman was going through a divorce and her own criminal trial for child abuse about the same time and she may have been looking for attention, Hartley said. The attorney said her story might have been a diversion to get back with her husband.

"I'm very happy that 12 citizens from Walworth County came back and had done justice with this case," Hartley said.

"From the day I first looked at this case and started reviewing reports, it just didn't add up. It didn't smell right."

Assistant District Attorney Dennis Krueger hinged much of his case on the woman's testimony and the fact that Feseru first told police he never had sex with the woman.

After charges of second-degree sexual assault and burglary were filed, Feseru did admit having such contact, Hartley said.

Feseru, an immigrant from west Africa, had faced up to 45 years in prison.

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