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Man found guilty of sexual assault

Three men accused of raping a 14-year-old girl were unanimously cleared by a jury yesterday — but a fourth, Kristopher Gibbons, has been found guilty of sexual assault.

Gibbons groped the intoxicated girl and received oral sex in a backyard gathering over the Cup Match holiday of last year.

Following an emotional courtroom scene, a tearful Gibbons was led away by police. The 22-year-old was 21 at the time of the July 27 offence.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the Supreme Court she had been invited with a friend to a residence of one of the defendants that night, where she was raped and forced to perform oral sex after being coerced into swigging from a bottle of Cockspur rum.

One of the defendants was further accused of forcing the victim to drink alcohol, but was cleared by the jury.

However, Gibbons, who admitted to receiving oral sex from the victim as well as touching her genitals, was found guilty by all 11 jurors.

Gibbons also told the court that none his co-defendants had intercourse with the girl.

The three, who also cannot be named were embraced by family members outside the court after the nearly month-long trial.

The defendant charged with supplying the alcohol in addition to rape readily admitted to communicating with the girl and persuading her to visit his residence on the night in question.

However, he told the court that both the victim and her 14-year-old friend, who gave evidence as a witness, had fabricated their accounts.

He also maintained that he had no idea that the girl, who he met via Facebook, was underage — testifying that her online account had numerous “sexy” pictures of herself.

Although the victim said she'd never lied about her age, the defendant told the court her Facebook page had given her year of birth as 1995.

The defendants' ages range from 19 to 22.

Gibbons will return to the court for a mention date at the June arraignments.

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Published May 15, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm)

Man found guilty of sexual assault

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