Lawyers made their closing statements last (Thursday) night at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse in the third-degree sexual assault trial of Dan Mason, the former Mason City police officer accused of raping his former girlfriend last December. Assistant Attorney General Patricia Houlihan said Mason was not your typical law-abiding citizen. The lawyer for the prosecution pointed out Mason’s a police officer, yet “He drove around drinking beer and he thought that was OK.” She says he drove around town drinking with underage people in the car, but thought “the laws didn’t apply to Dan Mason.” Houlihan says Mason tried to control the situation when he was with the woman, who was 19 when they met. She tells the jury Mason touched her, though she didn’t want to be touched and turned her head. “She said No, she said I had a boyfriend, but Dan Mason thinks he has the right to touch her, to turn her face.” She relates how he said “Kiss me, like you used to” Houlihan says the alleged victim was scared to go to law enforcement the night she charges she was assaulted, since her attacker was a policeman. Mason’s attorney Patrick Byrne says the jury must wade through the evidence and decide who is telling the truth. Byrne told the jury if they find reasonable doubt about the issues of consent in the couple’s relationship in regard to sex they had that night, “Then you must acquit Mr. Mason.” Byrne says the alleged victim never told Mason that he was not welcome at her home that night. Byrne says Mason believes he was unjustly accused. He says Mason understands there are reasons like the plaintiff’s temperament and personality, and other stresses she was going through, “That eventually made her try to piece things back together in a way that didn’t really happen.” The jury has the case, and can find the defendant not guilty, convict Mason of third-degree sexual assault, or pick one of three lesser charges.
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