Husband acquitted of raping wife in penis-cutting case

Nov. 10, 1993
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MANASSAS, Va. -- A Northern Virginia jury Wednesday acquitted John Wayne Bobbitt of a charge that he raped his wife before she sliced off his penis.

Bobbitt jumped up and hugged his attorney when the innocent verdict was announced.

'I'm thankful it's all over. I just want to get on with my life,' said Bobbitt.

His estranged wife, Lorena, was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated four hours before clearing Bobbitt, 26, an ex-Marine who last worked as a nightclub bouncer, of a felony charge of marital sexual asssault. If convicted, he could have faced up to 20 years in prison.

Lorena Bobbitt, a 24-year-old manicurist, admits she cut off her husband's penis with an 8-inch filet knife on June 23. The organ was reattached during a 9 -hour operation.

Lorena Bobbitt testified she struck out at her husband after he raped her.

John Bobbitt, however, said his wife had consented to sex. His attorney said Lorena Bobbitt sought revenge on her husband because he failed to give her an orgasm. The defense also claimed Mrs. Bobbitt was hungry for publicity.

Lorena Bobbitt, a native of Ecuador who grew up in Venezuela, faces a separate trial Nov. 29 on a charge of malicious wounding. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.

She has filed for divorce from Bobbitt.

Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert told reporters that despite the verdict, he believes Lorena Bobbitt's version of the incident.

'I don't see it the way the jury did. I believe her, I don't believe him,' said Ebert, who has been assigned to prosecute Lorena Bobbitt's trial later this month.

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