Former UMass student guilty of rape

  • Patrick K. Amara Jr. reacts to his guilty verdict on three counts of rape in Hampshire Superior Court on Monday, April 29, 2019.  STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU

Staff Writer
Published: 4/29/2019 6:11:21 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court jury on Monday found Patrick K. Amara Jr., a former member of the University of Massachusetts football team, guilty of three counts of rape following a three-day trial.

The jury deliberated less than four hours.

Amara, 23, who currently resides in Georgia and is a citizen of both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom, put his head in his hands after the verdict was read and kept it there. His bail was revoked and his sentencing is set for Thursday morning.

The crimes of which Amara was convicted occurred at a party in Hadley on April 30, 2016, when Amara was a UMass student and a member of the football team.

Amara’s accuser, who testified on the first day of the trial on Wednesday and was also a UMass student at the time, has said that he raped her three times in a bathroom at the party.

As a matter of policy, the Gazette does not typically identify victims of rape or sexual assault.

Amara did not testify at his trial, although a recording of his testimony at a UMass school hearing was played.

In closing arguments in court Monday, John Drake, Amara’s attorney, said that much of the evidence submitted by the commonwealth consisted of excuses for the behavior of the accuser.

Drake cited elements of the accuser’s testimony and asked the jury to consider if they made sense. He also noted Amara’s level of intoxication and questioned whether he could have done what he was accused of in the state he was in.

“There’s doubt all over the place,” Drake said.

Assistant District Attorney Erin Aiello, however, said in closing arguments that, “This case is about sexual assault.”

Aiello said that in both the accuser’s testimony and in recorded testimony from Amara at the UMass school hearing, no evidence of consent from the accuser was given.

Aiello also said that two witnesses called by the defense, both of whom were on the football team with Amara, gave inconsistent testimony, including describing the nature of the party differently.

And Aiello said that, because the accuser spoke to her best friend right after leaving the bathroom, she didn’t have time to fabricate what had happened in the bathroom.

“I submit to you that the commonwealth has met its burden,” said Aiello, who also noted that the jury had had the opportunity to hear from the accuser. “She told you what happened to her in that bathroom.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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