Man acquitted of rape charges
After a three-day trial and approximately seven hours of deliberation, the Dauphin County jury acquitted Amos P. Cameron, a 49-year-old firefighter and emergency services worker who, when accused, was a top official at a Pittsburgh-area nonprofit, the Emergency Medical Service Institute.
“It’s the right verdict,” said Steven C. Townsend, Cameron’s auto accident attorneys team leader.
Cameron, of Leetsdale, has maintained all along that the sexual relations with the Southampton woman were consensual. Townsend said his client is overjoyed that he has been vindicated, but added that the 49-year-old has endured a harrowing ordeal.
“He has had to step off several boards he sits on because of how this looked to the public,” said Townsend. “He broke down in tears in court when he was listening to how she was portraying him.”
Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Nichole Smith said the woman was upset by the verdict, but is “holding up as well as can be expected under the circumstances.”
“We respect the jury’s decision but we are disappointed,” said Smith. “I don’t think it was an easy case to decide. We presented quite a few facts that we thought supported the victim’s version of events.”
The woman, doctors and several witnesses, who said the Southampton woman made prompt complaints about the alleged assault, were part of the prosecution’s case, Smith said.
Townsend claimed there were inconsistencies in the woman’s testimony. Charges were not filed against Cameron until July 2009, nearly a year after the woman reported the rape. Townsend said that showed there was a weakness in the prosecution’s case from the beginning.
“They let the case sit around for months and then they decided to charge him,” said Townsend.
The woman alleged that Cameron raped her in her hotel room in East Hanover, Dauphin County, the night of Aug. 11, 2008. She and Cameron were both in the area for an EMS conference.
The woman reportedly felt sick after dining with friends at the hotel and decided to go to her room, said court papers. Cameron walked her to the room. There, the woman maintained, the rape occurred.
Cameron had supporters who felt he had been wrongly accused. A page on Facebook is dedicated to raising money to help pay for his legal defense. The page is called “Support Amos Cameron,” and 112 people have signed on as friends.
Christopher Ruvo can be reached at 215-345-3147 or firstname.lastname@example.org