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UCF Victim Services hosted its first ever mock sexual assault trial on Tuesday in the Student Union.

The mock trial took every opportunity it could to portray how an actual trial in the legal system would be.

Unfortunately, that meant that when the testimonies were heard, the crowd didn't believe the victim, in this case, had been raped.

The jury didn't, either. They charged the young man with sexual assault, but in the end, couldn't justify convicting him of anything else.

"The jury had issues with the legal definition of rape," Jason Fiesta said.

Fiesta, a guest lecturer for the Department of Legal Studies, was the judge for the proceedings. During the initial questioning, his authority was called in several times to help keep the attorneys from going too far in their questioning of the victim.

The questioning itself was part of a process called "the second rape." That's what it's called when rape victims have to go through extensive, invasive questioning through the legal system, forcing them to keep thinking about the rape and how it made them feel.

Oftentimes, the questioning is made even worse by officials who don't believe the rape victim.

The questioning went down the line. The victim's best friend, who was with her just before the rape and who the victim called when she woke up the morning after, was brought to the stand. So was a man who claimed to have seen the accused slip something in her drink and expert testimony as to what GHB – a "date rape" drug – looks like and what some of its symptoms might be.

After that, the defense attorney got a chance to present his own witnesses, which were the accused and his best friend. Together, they denied any chance that the accused would ever rape a woman. They suggested that the victim made the entire situation up to cover regret from a night of consensual sex that didn't go anywhere.

"That does happen," Coretta Cotton of Victim Services said. "But statistics have shown that only somewhere between two and seven percent of rape cases are false. Even one false rape claim makes it harder on everyone else, though. After that one false rape claim, people will point to that case and say 'Well, that person made the case up, so who's to say this person isn't making it up as well?'"

When the testimonies were all heard, the judge addressed the crowd and the jury. He explained the legal definitions of rape, sexual assault and consent and asked the jury to consider all of the testimonies when they make their decision.

When the jury went into another room to deliberate, the small crowd was given a chance to text in their vote.

The final score came resulted in 10 people voting that the accused was not guilty of the crimes of rape and sexual assault. Only three people voted that he was guilty.

A video, played after the jury came back, showed that the victim had, in fact, been raped.

After the video, came a discussion. While the actors who had participated in the trial were allowed to sit in the crowd, the UCF officials who had also participated sat at a table to take questions from the crowd. They explained what UCF Victim Services could do for anyone caught in a similar situation.

Statistically, about one in five women in college will be raped. One in 16 men will be raped as well but, as male victims have an even lower rate of reporting than women do, that number may be much higher.

"Rape isn't about sex," Cotton said. "It's about power and control, and it could happen to anyone."

Jamie Owen, assistant general counsel with Student Legal Services, also explained what Victim Services is trying to do to lower that number.

"We're trying to change that through awareness," Owen said. "Things are changing in the college world, especially with things like the It's On Us campaign."

Victim Services plans on holding another mock trial next year.

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