A Sedgwick County jury on Friday found a Wichita man not guilty of raping a 5-year-old girl in a case that was based almost entirely on the statements of the girl.
Breyon Mukes, now 19, was 17 when he was charged with raping the girl on Oct. 3, 2010, but was certified to stand trial as an adult on charges of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
Prosecutors offered no DNA evidence during the week-long trial and conceded that a nurse found no physical signs of sexual abuse when the girl was examined at a hospital. Prosecutors said it was not uncommon in child rape cases for the rapist to leave no physical evidence that an assault had occurred.
Mukes was charged with luring the girl into a bedroom, removing her clothing and raping her. Prosecutors said that shortly after the incident, the girl told her mother that Mukes molested her, then gave her $1 and a piece of gum.
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Assistant District Attorney Heather Botter said that when Mukes was confronted by the girl’s mother, he jumped out of a second-story window to avoid the confrontation. He was found the next day in an abandoned house near Southeast High School.
Botter told the jury that the girl later told the same story to the nurse and social worker who were investigating the case.
“This is a 5-year-old,” she said. “Ask yourself, ‘How does she know these things?’ Everything points to the fact that this occurred.”
Defense lawyer Brad Sylvester said in his closing argument that it wasn’t unheard of for a child to make up a story when trying to get another child in trouble.
“Don’t let emotion rule this,” he said. “There has to be more than a child’s statement.”
Although he was acquitted of rape, Mukes remains in custody on an unrelated attempted aggravated robbery charge. He is charged with trying to rob the Central Food Mart at 2900 E. Central on May 8, 2012. That case is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 2.