Accused Tinder rapist found not guilty
BATON ROUGE - A jury has come back with a not guilty verdict after just two hours of deliberation for an East Baton Rouge man accused of raping a woman he met through the social dating app Tinder.
24-year-old Jacob Witz, of Bellaire, Texas, was accused of a forcible rape charge in July 2014.
At the time, investigators said they were contacted by the victim who told them she met Witz using the Tinder dating app and invited him over to her apartment. According to the victim, Witz became violent and forced her to have sex with her, slapping her multiple times after she initially refused. Tinder is a free dating application that lets users "swipe" through profiles of members they like.
After the alleged rape, deputies said Witz forced the victim to shower, and then told her to pretend nothing happened. The attack reportedly happened at the victim's Nicholson Drive apartment.
The foreman of the jury told News 2 that the "state didn't cross the finish line on prosecuting the case," and that there were a lot of gaps in the story. The trial had been in session since last Tuesday.
"We believed in our case and believe in our victim. The case was presented fairly and fully. The defendant was well represented. We respect the jury's decision," District Attorney Hillar Moore said.
"It's definitely been a hard process, but I'm going to pick up and move on with my life," said Witz on the courthouse steps. "I have 21 hours left at LSU and that's my plan. I need to finish my degree. I want to move on with my life."
"We got out everything that we needed so the jurors could make a great decision," Witz' attorney Robby Gill said. "The prosecution had not come close to proving their case about whether or not beyond a reasonable doubt and that's what this was about."
Witz was indicted on the charge in January 2015. If found guilty, he could have served up to 40 years in prison on the forcible rape charge.