By Eric Rosario
In the end, John Tuck had nothing to say after a jury found him not guilty on all five counts of rape and criminal sexual conduct he faced. The former UFC fighter wiped tears from his eyes as the jury forewoman finished reading the verdicts. As he left the courthouse and walked into the parking lot, he took his wife's hand and they embraced.
His wife sat silently behind him all four days of the trial, listening and watching his accuser describe a story of rape that she says occurred at around 3 a.m. on March 4, 2020. Police arrested Mr. Tuck on March 16, 2020, the day the public health emergency began on Guam. He was hauled into court, arraigned, and placed on house arrest. His passport was confiscated, and his life became the subject of intense scrutiny.
Prosecutor Richelle Canto, who asked the jury Friday morning to convict Mr. Tuck of rape said that he did not understand that "No means no." She asked the jury, rhetorically, what his accuser had to gain from making and sustaining her allegations against Mr. Tuck. She said her story was consistent with that of a woman who had been raped.
Mr. Tuck's lawyer, Randy Cunliffe, told the jury in his closing statements that his accuser could not be trusted. "She isn't credible," he said, before detailing her workplace and job at the time, a police report that inferred she knew he was a local celebrity, and inconsistencies between her testimony and earlier accounts she gave of her encounter with Mr. Tuck between March 3 and March 4, 2020.
Mr. Cunliffe repeated to the jury the findings of the medical examiner from the Healing Hearts Crisis Center, Dr. William Weare, who performed the rape kit on the woman. "There was no semen," Mr. Cunliffe said. "There was no DNA. She had no bruises. No abrasions. Though she was supposedly pinned up against a wall, there were no scrapes on her shoulders, back, or buttocks."
In the end, the jury found that the evidence - both the physical evidence and the testimony given during the trial - did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that John Tuck raped this woman or sexually assaulted her according to the amended indictment.
Judge Maria Cenzon ordered Mr. Tuck's passport and any other property returned to him, and released him from house arrest.
He is a free man.