Jury finds former Twin Falls teacher 'not guilty' of rape
A jury found a former Twin Falls teacher accused of raping one of his former students not guilty on charges.
The trial for Jason Benjamin, a former math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School and Canyon Ridge High School, started on Wednesday.
Benjamin was arrested in December after being accused of raping a former student who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime.
Interrogation video that played in the courtroom showed Benjamin admitting to having sex with the student. The prosecution and defense agreed the two did have sexual intercourse but the question was whether Benjamin is guilty of rape.
The defense argued that the victim was four months away from turning 18 at the time of the alleged incident. The victim was also on the witness list, but did not testify.
He was charged with one count of rape under the statute when a victim is 16 or 17 and the perpetrator is at least three years older.
By mid-afternoon the jury left to deliberate the case, and a verdict was reached by 5 p.m.