The now former Wittenberg University professor accused of rape involving a 19-year-old developmentally disabled male was found not guilty Thursday evening by the trial judge who heard the evidence. .
Hollant “Max” Adrien, who had waived his right to a jury trial and decided instead to defend charges against him to a judge, was the final witness in the case Thursday afternoon.
At about 6:45 p.m., Clark County Common Pleas Judge Douglas Rastatter announced his decision. He began considering the case at about 6 p.m.
“I do not know. Where do I go to get my reputation back?” Adrien asked after the verdict was read. He described himself as jobless and thanked his former Wittenberg colleagues who supported him. The university also confirmed that Adrien is no longer employed there.
Adrien, who is Haitian born, said he has been in the United States 32 years. “…I get my freedom and I take it from there,” he said.
Adrien was charged with single counts of rape and kidnapping stemming from an incident Aug. 23, 2012.
Adrien testified that he met the teenager several times on his drives in and around Springfield, and met him the first time last August, when he drove him to a basketball court and gave him a few dollars for snacks.
The second time they met was along a Springfield roadway, he testified, telling the court that he drove the teen to a remote location on Mulberry Street were they engaged in consensual sex.
When county Assistant Prosecutor Brian Driscoll asked Adrien how much he knew about the mental capacity of the young man, the professor testified that he didn’t realize the male was developmentally disabled.
Adrien said he thought the teen “just talked funny.”
The trial began Wednesday. Adrien waived his right to a jury after his attorney made failed attempts at empaneling a jury to hear the evidence.
After the verdict, Adrien said he and his attorney requested a bench trial because as an openly gay man, he said he felt he wouldn’t get a fair jury trial.
Adrien, charged in October, had been teaching French at the university for a little more than a year. At the time of the trial, he had been suspended without pay, according to the university.
According to Springfield police, Adrien was linked to two kidnapping and rape cases of two men, one 20 and the other 19. One of the cases dates to 2010.
Adrien also had been linked to allegations of a kidnapping Oct. 4 in Snyder Park, where police said the 19-year-old was able to get away with Adrien’s phone.