Man cleared of sex charges

A 20-year-old man was yesterday (Tuesday) acquitted of raping a teenage girl in charges relating to alleged assaults over three years ago. Karl Hartnett, from Thomas Road, Huntingdon pleaded not guilty at Huntingdon Crown Court to four charges of sexual a

A 20-year-old man was yesterday (Tuesday) acquitted of raping a teenage girl in charges relating to alleged assaults over three years ago.

Karl Hartnett, from Thomas Road, Huntingdon pleaded not guilty at Huntingdon Crown Court to four charges of sexual assault, assault by penetration, rape and attempted rape. After a four-day trial, he was found not guilty on all charges.

A teenage girl had told the court, via a video link, that Mr Hartnett had attacked her when he was either drunk or high on drugs. The allegations related to attacks between September 2005 and September 2006.

At the time of his arrest and in court this week, Mr Hartnett denied having any form of relationship with the girl - or ever regarding her in any sexual way.

He told the court that the first he had heard of the allegations was in March last year.

He said he was so shocked that his reaction had been to report the allegations to the police saying he wanted her prosecuted for slander.

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He told the court: "I felt physically sick. I didn't know what to think, I felt gutted.

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