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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Rape Charges Dismissed

October 16, 1987

Rape charges were dismissed Thursday against a man accused of assaulting a 26-year-old woman last month when both were patients at County-USC Medical Center's mental ward.

Los Angeles Municipal Judge Karl W. Jaeger dismissed counts of forcible rape and rape of an incompetent person against Ben Jude Lezine, 31, after ruling that the alleged victim was incompetent to testify against him.

The woman, who was released from the hospital Wednesday, took the stand briefly at Lezine's preliminary hearing and was unable to identify him.

Lezine, who police said has tested positive for the AIDS virus, was originally booked on an attempted murder charge. But prosecutors said they could find no evidence that he intended to kill his victim.

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