Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Jury acquits Davis man of rape charges

By
From page A1 | February 03, 2013 | Leave Comment

It took a Yolo County jury less than a day of deliberations to acquit a 21-year-old Davis man of rape charges Friday following a two-week trial in Yolo Superior Court.

Thaddeus Jay Sonne, who had been in Yolo County Jail custody since September, was freed immediately after the seven-man, five-woman jury delivered its not-guilty verdict at 1:30 p.m., his attorney Dan Hutchinson said.

“This case, in my opinion, should never have been charged, and the jury’s quick verdict reflects this fact,” said Hutchinson, a deputy public defender. “I was happy to see Mr. Sonne walk out of the courtroom a free man — vindicated by a jury from his community — and into the arms of those who care about him and always believed in his innocence.”

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor, who prosecuted the case, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Sonne was arrested on the night of Aug. 16, 2012, after a couple walking near Second and H streets in downtown Davis spotted him having sex with a woman near the Amtrak station. The couple alerted two nearby police officers, who reported that the woman was crying, kicking her legs and saying “no, no, stop” as they confronted the pair.

Both Sonne and the woman were among a group of friends who had gone bar-hopping in downtown Davis that night after crossing paths at a party. By the time police contacted them, the woman’s blood-alcohol content was 0.23 — nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 — while Sonne’s registered at 0.17.

In a police officer’s audio recording played at trial, a stunned Sonne is heard saying he believed the sex was consensual. He also said he heard the woman saying “no,” but added: “Sometimes, it’s more of a dare than an actual request. If she wanted me to stop, she could have made me stop.”

“No means no,” Zambor told the jury during her closing argument Thursday. “It’s not vague. It’s not confusing. … The defendant is guilty of rape because (the woman) told him no.”

Hutchinson, meanwhile, said Sonne’s level of intoxication may have prevented him from comprehending the word “no” until the officers had approached the pair. He also blamed police and prosecutors for pushing the case forward even when the woman said she had not been raped and expressed uncertainty about pursuing charges.

The District Attorney’s Office initially had declined to prosecute Sonne following his arrest, sending the case back to the Davis Police Department for additional investigation. Charges were filed against him in September.

Had he been convicted, Sonne faced up to eight years in state prison and would have had to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, Hutchinson said.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Frank, Peterman, Davis Bicycles! get us from here to there

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Local professor subdues unruly man on flight

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A3

Yolo Crisis Nursery is in crisis; please help

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Seniors can get tips for getting around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
School has garden plots for rent

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sugar overload, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotarians, students, teachers, parents collaborate on planter boxes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Animal expert explains dogs’ thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Check out the night sky

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hop to it: Easter Bunny meets Davis history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Are we there yet?: Self-reflections of a would-be stage mom

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8Comments are off for this post

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Urban forest under siege

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Drought care for our trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

 
UCD staff allows 19 hits in Causeway rout

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS softball struggles in nonleague outing

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils open Boras Classic by splitting games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS sweeps a trio of baseball games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: River Cats get by Grizzlies at Raley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Giants beat L.A. in 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports briefs: Stanford sends Aggies home with a lacrosse loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

 
.

Arts

Craft Center exhibit explores ‘Possibilities’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
RootStock to host wine themed plein aire exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

The California Honeydrops to bring danceable groove to The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
See Flower Power exhibit at Gallery 625

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Red Union Blue inks record deal

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6