An African-American teen from Maryland’s Eastern Shore was convicted Oct. 28 of raping a classmate in a hallway of a local high school.
According to The Delmarva Daily Times, Jocori Scarborough, 18, was found guilty on all five counts related to the incident, which occurred on May 5 at the Parkside High School in Salisbury, Md. The Wicomico County jury convicted him of second-degree rape, false imprisonment, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and disturbing or threatening a student.
“She said no,” Wicomico County Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Karen Dean said of the 15-year-old victim in her closing statements. “She said no several times.”
The defendant’s DNA, which was found on the girl’s underwear, was part of the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Scarborough’s defense claimed the teen never denied having sex with the girl, however, and countered by questioning the victim’s behavior. Defense attorney Eddie Gonzalez, in his closing arguments, suggested there was plenty room for reasonable doubt. Not only did the teenage girl not cry at the time of the alleged rape, he said, but she didn’t sustain any injuries. Neither did she report the incident to four employees she came across afterward.
“All you have to do is find one reasonable doubt,” Gonzales reportedly said. “Beyond a reasonable doubt.”
There seemed to be little doubt among the jurors, however—they deliberated for an hour-and-a-half before delivering the guilty verdicts.
Some in the African-American community questioned whether justice was truly served.
“I do not feel that Mr. Scarborough received a fair verdict,” Lamarr Brown, CEO and founder of the Organization of African-American Concerns, told the Daily Times.
Prosecutors, however, hailed the outcome and praised the victim—who testified in court—for her courage, saying speaking out in such cases is often tough because of the stigma and skepticism rape victims often face.
“We’re happy that we were able to achieve some measure of justice for her,” said Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello