Jury Hung in Podiatrist Rape Lawsuit
Podiatrist Scott Strolla is requesting a juror be interviewed after they returned a verdict of guilty in only the least serious charge against the doctor. Strolla was accused of two counts of sexual battery and a third of video voyeurism. The jury agreed that he was guilty of video voyeurism, but hung on the sexual battery counts. Now, Strolla’s attorney, who also happens to be his brother, wants to question one of the jurors to determine whether or not they were pressured into rendering a guilty verdict. A judge permitted Strolla’s request to interview one of the jurors.
Strolla is accused of plying a woman by spiking her drink and then attempting to have sex with her later when she was incapacitated. After drinking with Strolla at the bar, the last thing she remembers, she testified, was that she got ill and wanted to leave. The next thing she remembered was waking up in Strolla’s apartment and being raped. The woman remained calm, left the apartment, texted her boyfriend, hid in some bushes and then called the police.
Strolla denied that he did anything that she had not consented to, but when she took the stand against the doctor, she told the jury that there was no way that she could have consented because she doesn’t remember anything.
The Strollas countered by saying that there was never any evidence that the woman was drugged and a tox screen will show that investigators found nothing other than alcohol in her body. There was also no evidence that the woman was ever restrained.
Strolla was charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of video voyeurism. He was only convicted of video voyeurism.
Police were able to recover deleted photos from Strolla’s phone of the woman lying naked in his bed. Strolla also told police that he never had sex with the woman, but the police found semen in her vagina. The defense produced evidence that she was coherent insofar as she was able to text her boyfriend, appeared to be walking “perfectly fine” when she left the bar, and hugged and kissed the defendant on video surveillance. Video surveillance also shows the woman holding hands with Strolla as she left the bar.
The jury hung on whether or not Strolla had committed sexual battery, but convicted him of video voyeurism. The Strollas maintain, however, that one juror was pressured into rendering a guilty verdict while another juror conducted independent research outside of the courtroom.
Strolla’s second trial on two counts of sexual battery will be retried in early January. He is currently under house arrest for the voyeurism charges. The judge ruled that he may not practice medicine while he is under house arrest.
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