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Man Acquitted of Alleged Rape on Video

March 4, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) _ A man accused of taking part in a videotaped rape of a teenager has been acquitted, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office said.

Adrian Missbrenner, 20, was cleared Friday by Cook County jurors of sexual assault and child pornography charges.

Missbrenner was one of four men charged in the assault of a woman who is now 20. The video, made in 2002, reportedly shows two men having sex with her and a third writing obscenities on her legs and thighs with a felt-tipped marker.

Missbrenner surrendered to U.S. authorities in Serbia last May after disappearing for eight months.

``It’s been a long struggle. But we’re happy to have our son back,″ his father, Damir, told reporters outside the courtroom.

The case infuriated victims’ advocacy groups after a threat from Circuit Judge Kerry Kennedy to charge the alleged victim with contempt of court. The woman refused to watch the videotape while being questioned by a defense attorney. A day later, Kennedy said attorneys could cross-examine the woman without her watching it.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he would draft legislation barring rape victims from having to view videotapes or photographs of the crime.

So far, one man has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges for making the videotape and served time in a boot camp. Another man was acquitted of all charges. Burim Berezi, the second man accused of having sex with the woman in the video, fled to Albania and has not been captured, officials said.

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