A federal appeals panel has reversed the sexual assault conviction of a Nebraska man, saying the trial court bungled jury instructions.
Larry Rouillard, of Niobrara, was convicted last year in federal court of sexually assaulting a drunken woman on the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation and sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Rouillard argued in his appeal that the law under which he was convicted requires the defendant to have knowledge of the victim's incapacity or inability to consent.
For that reason, he says the jury should have been instructed that it would need to find not only that Rouillard had sex with the woman, but that he knew she was too incapacitated to consent.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel agreed on Thursday and ordered a new trial.
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