Thursday, July 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Jury acquits Davis man of rape charges

By
From page A1 | February 03, 2013 |

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

Comments

comments

.

News

Local therapists bring ‘Daring Greatly’ movement to Davis

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Youths learn wilderness survival skills

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

Fertility clinics scan for the strongest embryo

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
 
Bee beard photo wins award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
As farmland subsides, aquifer worries mount

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Pogledich named Yolo County counsel

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Tuleyome launches Kickstarter campaign to publish a children’s nature book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Davis teen on California team for national horticulture competition

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Truth and authenticity on radio program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Senior sing-along held monthly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Forum

Thanks for your kindnesses

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Questions, questions, questions

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Ross Douthat: Democrat, Republican patterns are changing

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Civilians are innocent victims

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

River Cats snap three-game losing streak

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis’ golden girls

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

Aggie Silva mixed school and strikes; wins Reno tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lucky No. 7: Giants snap losing streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Davis Rugby teams wrap up summer season

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
DHS tryout schedule updated; physical packets due

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hammel struggles in A’s loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

Happy 103rd birthday!

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A2

 
Fay Evans: 100 years young

By Spencer Ault | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Arts

Native American dancers to perform in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Winters stages ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Landscape exhibition returns to Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Hear live music at Monticello

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
New KDRT show features touring musicians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Hot City heats up Winters gazebo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Enjoy some Mischief at First Saturday event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

British organist to play in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, July 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6