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Columbia man acquitted in 2002 rape

A jury has acquitted a man accused in a 2002 Columbia rape.

Jackie Jennings of Columbia was indicted by a grand jury in 2017 on charges of forcible rape and burglary after DNA tied him to the 2002 case. His trial began Tuesday at the Boone County Courthouse and ended Wednesday afternoon with the acquittal.

Deliberation was short — closing arguments in the case were given Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators said the victim was leaving a bar when she was approached by a man she did not know who offered to give her a ride. The woman then drove herself home. She told investigators she later became ill despite not having drank much alcohol.

She told police she laid down and when she woke up there was a man standing in her room.

In March 2017, the Missouri State Highway Patrol compared the DNA from the case to a DNA profile matching Jennings.

Prosecutors on Wednesday morning presented a clip of two Columbia Police Department detectives interrogating Jennings after his arrest.

In that video Jennings denied having sex with the woman several times. He also said he did not remember having sex with woman.

Jennings told police he drove her home, but did not help her into her bed or have sexual contact with her.

Defense lawyers questioned one of the detectives who interrogated Jennings, and said he lied to Jennings several times during that interrogation.

Jennings did testify that he and victim were flirting with each other and rubbed each other, but neither of them ever took their clothes off.

The detectives in the interrogation room said Jennings’ story matched the woman’s in several ways, and his appearance matched the description.

During closing arguments, the defense argued there was too much reasonable doubt in the case to find Jennings guilty.

Prosecutors said the DNA evidence proved Jennings raped the victim.

Look for more on this developing story.

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