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Rape suspect not guilty

A Brewton man was thankful for his freedom Monday after a jury returned a “not guilty” verdict in a case accusing him of first-degree rape.

Charles Edward Happoldt, of 507 Franklin Ave., was arrested in August 2009 outside D.W. McMillan Hospital where the alleged victim had sought assistance.

At the time of the arrest Happoldt was charged with the crime after the alleged victim told authorities she had met him in an area of U.S. 31.

Reports made by the alleged victim to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department say she parked her car at the location and got into Happoldt’s truck who then drove her to an area of Highway 113 and forcibly raped her.

C. Daniel White, Happoldt’s attorney, said they are pleased with the outcome in the jury-trial case.

“Mr. Happoldt is pleased with the outcome in this case and we are pleased as well,” White said Tuesday. “We are happy that the facts in this case were borne out in court to find him innocent. We are humbled by the effectiveness of the jury system.”