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Bonner found not guilty of child rape
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A man accused of child rape was acquitted Friday on all charges in a case which pitted his word against the word of his accuser.The defendant, Clarence N. Bonner, 58, was found not guilty on charges of child rape following a two-day trial before a Circuit Court jury. Had he been convicted, Bonner would have faced what would have amounted to nearly a life sentence as the charge carries 15 to 25 years in prison.Prosecutors admitted during opening statements their case would pit the word of the 9-year-old male victim against that of Bonner, noting they felt the child’s credibility would be apparent when he testified.Bonner was accused of performing oral sex on the boy, the last incident reportedly happening over the Fourth of July holiday in 2010.“The victim had decided to tell but he didn’t want to ruin the Fourth of July holiday for everyone,” said prosecutor Tom Miner, telling the jury the boy remembered specific incidents because one happened at Fourth of July and one before his birthday. Much of the state’s case hinged on an undercover phone call made to Bonner by the boy, a call monitored by investigators.