Gardner Man's Rape Conviction Vacated, New Trial Ordered

The state's highest court has ordered a new trial for a Gardner man charged with raping a high school girl at a party at his home, saying the testimony of a state lab chemist was hearsay and should not have been admitted as evidence.

Clauzell Jones was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison in 2011, after a jury found him guilty of providing alcohol to the girl in October 2008 and then raping her.

Jones, 39 at the time, said the sexual contact was consensual.

Jones argued on appeal that the trial judge erred in allowing the prosecution to introduce expert testimony through a state police chemist who was not present when the alleged victim's "rape kit" examination was performed by a nurse.

The Supreme Judicial Court agreed.


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