Wednesday, July 23, 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

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

 
Second Mellon grant supports Mondavi events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Are arachnids awesome or awful? Visit Bohart Museum to find out

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Police arrest suspect in robbery spree

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Madhavi Sunder joins Davis school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

 
Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Grandparents support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Kaiser awards grants to Yolo nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

NAMI program offers mental illness information, support

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Architecture in Davis, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Speaker will spin some fishing tales at Davis meeting

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

 
Kids can paint their own Breyer horses at Davis store

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Car lovers will speak Sunday at gallery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

Exchange program seeks host families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedro party will benefit Yolo Hospice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quaff a beer and watch the bats

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Enterprise is focus of Davis Roots talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

They’re pickier than she is

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
U.S. is complicit in attack

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Extinguish extremism for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
With profound gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Someday, there will be peace

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Former Davis man at crossroads: biking or artwork?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie golfer headed to men’s U.S. Amateur Championship

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants outlast Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats nip dogs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

A’s fall in extra innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Jays hitting upends Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Albergotti to discuss Armstrong’s doping scandal

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

.

Features

Field to Fork: Skyelark Ranch, not a lark at all

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Name droppers: ASUCD hands out awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

.

Arts

Village Homes to host Rita Hosking Trio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Tomato Festival makes call for young artists

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Additional casting notice for ‘Hello Dolly’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Hear Los Tres de Winters on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Picott to play at The Palms Playhouse

By Kate Laddish | From Page: A7

 
Fairy-tale romance in Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Pinky’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Soar to Neverland with DMTC’s ‘Peter Pan’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6