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Auburn man convicted of raping woman in 2020 after jury trial

An Auburn man was found guilty of raping a woman in the city late last year after a jury trial lasting seven days.

Brian Lawrence, 25, was found guilty of a felony first-degree rape charge, as well as a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass. The trial lasted a week, with evidence from 15 witnesses being incorporated into the case.

On December 6, 2020 the victim was alone in her apartment when Lawrence broke into the home, attacking and raping her. Prosecutors say the victim told her story during trial.

The victim was able to run out of the house after the attack, and after being threatened with a knife – before a stranger let her into their home until police arrived.

“I commend this victim for coming forward and bravely testifying at trial despite how difficult it must have been reliving the trauma of that day in front of the jury and defendant. The defendant, both directly and indirectly through victim’s own family, repeatedly tried to get her to lie on the witness stand. Thankfully, she was strong enough not to succumb to the combined pressure and testified truthfully. Members of the Auburn Police Department secured concrete evidence solidifying an incredible case,” Senior Assistant District Attorney Heather De Stefano said. “I could not have obtained this conviction without all of their hard work. This verdict should send a loud, clear message that we will not tolerate this type of violent sexual crime or witnesses tampering. Given the grievous nature of this incident as well as the witness tampering, I intend to ask Judge Fandrich for the maximum sentence.”

Sentencing was scheduled for December 21.