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Lawton man found Not Guilty of rape, kidnapping

Lawton_31-year-old Jason Surman has been found Not Guilty of two felony counts of first-degree rape and kidnapping.

The verdict came down late Monday afternoon after the Lawton man stood accused of kidnapping and raping a 17-year-old Arizona girl last year. 

He was accused of abducting the girl from the Stripes convenience store at 67th and Cache Road, taking her to a Southwest Lawton dirt road, and raping her.  Surman says he had hired her as a prostitute and that the sex was consensual.  He testified that he was unable to complete the act.

The girl testified that that was not the case.

Police testified Jason Surman abducted the girl from the Stripes convenience store at N.W. 67th and Cache on July 16, 2007.  The girl, who was visiting from Arizona, had a friend take her to the store to make a phone call.  That's when the district attorney says Surman abducted her, took her to a southwest Lawton dirt road, and raped her.

On September 11, 2008, in Comanche County District Court in Lawton, Surman's Defense Attorney Armando Mata said the two went to the dirt road with an agreement to have sex, but Surman could not complete the act because of premature ejaculation problems.  Mata says, then, as they were driving back to the intersection of 67th and Cache, the girl suddenly jumped out of the SUV, seemingly for no reason.  Mata said that the girl possibly lied about the details of the story because she is a teenaged girl and Surman is a black man. 

Assistant District Attorney (DA), Bill Riley said the girl was attempting to escape her abductor and rapist.  The girl says she tried to escape and jumped from the car on two separate occasions as Surman was driving - once as the vehicle was traveling 50 miles-per-hour, which she says knocked her unconscious.  On the second occasion, the girl testified that she jumped out of the car at a speed of 20-miles-per-hour.  The DA says he put her back in the SUV.  The DA said that after jumping from the car the second time, Surman stopped the car, put her back inside the SUV, and raped her in the back seat of the vehicle. 

Lawton Police Officer Ryan Studebaker testified that he took her statement at the scene, and stayed with her at the hospital the entire night.  A picture was later taken of the girl to document her cuts, abrasions, and bruises.  Officer Studebaker was asked to identify the girl from a photo.  He paused for a long time, shook his head, and said although it was difficult to recognize her, he knew it was the same girl.

In the DA's opening statement, he said that the girl's testimony includes a claim that Surman told her that he, "should just slit her throat."  The girl testified that she told Riley that she had promised Surman she wouldn't tell anyone, and that she and Surman shook hands in agreement.  She told the DA that that's when Surman dropped her off near the Stripes convenience store.  The defense said that a would-be rapist wouldn't abduct a girl from a gas station, and then drop her off an hour later at a nearby shopping center. 

After jury deliberation, Surman has been found Not Guilty.

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