No third trial for former South Hadley man accused of child rape

  • Guy Bush Jr., 47, of Grand Island, New York, formerly of South Hadley, listens to opening arguments on the first day of his trial on charges of child rape and indecent assault in Superior Court in Northampton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

Thursday, May 18, 2017

NORTHAMPTON – There will be no third trial for a former South Hadley man accused of child rape, prosecutors have decided.

Two juries, including one in April, could not come to a unanimous decision in the case of Guy Bush Jr., 47, of Grand Island, New York. Bush pleaded not guilty to charges of forcible rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

The decision to not pursue another trial came Thursday afternoon in Hampshire Superior Court. Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Caleb Weiner filed a nolle prosequi, which means the prosecutor would not further prosecute the case.

“We believe in the victim in this case, who showed remarkable strength and courage in coming forward to right a horrendous wrong and to protect others who might find themselves in a similar situation,” Weiner wrote in the filing. “Nevertheless, after consultation with the victim in this case, the Commonwealth believes it is not in the interests of justice to further prosecute this case at this time.”

The Gazette generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. Bush could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. 

Bush’s first trial ended in a mistrial in May 2016. A jury came back with a guilty verdict but after being individually polled by Bush’s defense attorney, one of the jurors, a young woman, spoke out and raised questions about the verdict. Judge Daniel Ford then called a mistrial.

Following 12½ hours of deliberation, jurors in the April 2017 trial were unable to come to a unanimous verdict. A mistrial was declared by Judge Mary-Lou Rup .

Now 20, the alleged victim, testified during both trials about incidents she said occurred shortly after she turned 5. Bush took the stand during the first trial and vehemently denied the charges.

‘A free man’ 

With the filing, the case against Bush ended. Bail money he posted was returned to those who posted it and all conditions of release that were imposed – including GPS monitoring – are no longer in effect, Bush’s attorney David Mintz said.

“He is a free man,” he said. “I don’t think he has any interest at all in doing anything that would make anybody on the other side of this case uncomfortable.”

The primary factor in not pursuing a third trial, Weiner wrote in court documents, was the “tremendous toll” it would take upon the young woman.

“We thank her for her bravery and perseverance, and we hope that she can continue to find the time and space to heal,” Weiner wrote.

Mintz said he understood why Weiner worded the filing the way he did.

“That is the thing of this adversarial system and two sides of an argument — when things spill out to trial mode there can be differences of opinions,” Mintz said. “Just as strongly as the district attorney believes in the complaining witness, I believe in my client and his innocence.”

Bush was incarcerated for more than 935 days and was able to make the $4,000 bail about a week before Thursday’s conference. Following his October 2014 arraignment, bail was originally set at $100,000. His bail was reduced following the first mistrial to $25,000. After the second mistrial, his bail was reduced even more.

“That time is time he will never be able to get back,” Mintz said. “But at the end of the day I got to know Mr. Bush and I can say for the record that he is resilient and he remained positive and convinced in his position all along the way.”

“I am sure he will be able to move forward and rebuild his life with the support of his family and friends and I hope that for him,” Mintz continued.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.