man cleared of rape

Friday, January 26, 2018 16:59 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A Michigan City man has been cleared of raping a teenage girl but guilty of seducing her.

Scott Wood, 36, could receive anywhere from a six month to 2 ½ year sentence for level 6 felony child seduction.

Sentencing is scheduled March 8.

A LaPorte Superior Court 1 jury on Thursday returned not guilty verdicts on level 3 felony rape and level 5 felony child seduction.

According to court documents, Wood was intoxicated when he began kissing a 16-year old girl at a home on March 17 near Greenwood Cemetery.

The activity was alleged to have advanced until the girl now crying stated ''this isn't right'' and tried elbowing him, according to court documents.

Authorities alleged Wood resumed kissing and touching her again then left.

Defense attorney Scott Pejic said there was no physical evidence to prove under state law that a rape occurred.

''The state just could not establish sufficient evidence to establish that element of the offense,'' Pejic said.

Melissa Wood, the wife of the defendant, is charged with level 6 felony neglect of a dependent and Class B misdemeanor failure to report.

According to court documents, Mrs. Wood after returning from work was told by the girl what happened but didn't call the authorities.

Instead, she implied it was her word against his because he was drunk and doesn't remember anything, police said.

Mrs. Wood then left her alone with the man who asked the girl ''if this could be their secret,'' court records disclosed.

The girl after returning home about 20 miles away then told a family member, police said.