SLO County prosecutors are preparing to take another crack at convicting a Paso Robles man accused of raping an intoxicated houseguest.
Pre-trial motions and jury selection for a second trial against Rian Mabus, a former U.S. Marine, began May 30 in SLO County Superior Court. It marks the second time that Mabus will go on trial in connection with the alleged rape, which took place at an Atascadero home in 2014.
Mabus was initially charged with two felony counts of rape in connection with the incident. After a trial in July of 2016, a SLO County jury found Mabus not guilty of one of the charges (rape of an unconscious person). But the same jury deadlocked on the second charge of rape of an intoxicated person.
“They were unable to reach a unanimous decision … so a new jury has to be impaneled to try and reach a verdict on that count,” SLO County Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham wrote in an email response to questions from New Times.
During the original trial, the female victim—identified only as Jane Doe—testified that the alleged rape occurred at the home of her niece, Mabus’ girlfriend, on Labor Day of 2014. The woman testified that she had several drinks made by Mabus and became intoxicated. After becoming sick and losing consciousness, the woman claimed she awoke at one point to find Mabus having sex with her while her face was in a pool of vomit. The woman testified that she believed Mabus may have drugged her.
Mabus and his attorney disputed the allegation. He claimed that while he did have sex with the woman that night, the sex was consensual. The jury deliberated for a little more than five hours before announcing its decisions. During its deliberations, the jury asked that testimony from Mabus, Jane Doe, and one of the investigating detectives, be read back to them.
Under the California penal code, a conviction on the remaining charge could carry anywhere from three to eight years in prison.