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Sexual assault case overturned in attack on severely handicapped woman

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of a Bridgeport man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a severely handicapped woman.

The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/SvQuBB) that justices ruled 4-3 that despite evidence that the 26-year-old woman cannot speak and has little body movement, there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant, Richard Fourtin Jr.

Fourtin’s lawyer, Senior Assistant Public Defender Nicole Donzello, declined to comment on the decision that was released on Monday.

The 28-year-old Fourtin was convicted in 2008 of attempted sexual assault and sentenced to six years in prison.

The woman, who was not identified in court, has severe cerebral palsy and cannot verbally communicate. But defense lawyers argued that there was evidence she could communicate by biting, kicking, screaming and gesturing.

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