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updated: 7/27/2011 6:25 PM

Former Barrington student not guilty of rape, other charges remain

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Bruce Arthur Johnston has been acquitted of charges he raped a girl in 2009 when he was a senior at Barrington High School.

"He's relieved," said defense attorney Robert Hanaford. "He always felt he was innocent and he's just glad it's over at this point."

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But the 20-year-old, who now lives in Palatine, still faces a misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse charge for which he is due in court again on Aug. 22.

Two days after the altercation that rendered the rape charge, Johnston is accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl, who was too young to consent legally.

In a bench trial this week, McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon acquitted Johnston of criminal sexual assault.

Prosecutors had charged Johnston in late April 2009 of raping a 17-year-old girl who he had asked out earlier in the day.

Hanaford noted that there was no physical evidence, such as bruises or ripped clothes, that implicated his client.

Hanaford also said the girl's best friend testified that the girl gave Johnston a hug and kiss before leaving a house where Johnston's mother was housesitting that night.

Hanaford said the girl's testimony was inconsistent, she never tried to leave to home where Johnston was and didn't go to the hospital until the next night.

If Johnston had been found guilty of felony criminal sexual assault, he would have faced a prison term of up to 15 years and would have had to register as a sex offender.

The sexual abuse charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, two years probation and a $2,500 fine.

Hanaford said his client, who is taking classes at Harper College now, is considering "all options" on the second case. "The other charge has different elements and there will be different challenges," Hanaford said, adding "I hope all the parties involved (in the first case) can move on."

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