CANTON, N.Y. — The first of four men to be tried for the alleged gang rape of a woman who had passed out in a restaurant five years ago was acquitted Monday.
The victim alleged Mark Hartle was one of five men who raped her after she had passed out drunk in the bathroom of the Casablanca Restaurant in Gouverneur in 1991.
The restaurant's bartender, Gregory L. Streeter, pleaded guilty, received probation and testified against Hartle in the first of an expected four separate trials.
The victim, a divorced mother of two, sobbed after the verdict was read, and as she was led to a conference room, she cried out: "No, he raped me!"
The case drew national attention when the district attorney allowed the five men to plea bargain to misdemeanor sexual misconduct and a $750 fine in June 1993.