Jury to get rape case Friday

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HANCOCK COUNTY — The fate of 19-year-old Christopher L. Hargraves, who has been charged with two counts of rape and other crimes, is soon to be in the hands of a county jury.

Hargraves’ trial started Tuesday, Nov. 30, in Hancock County Circuit Court in front of Judge Scott Sirk.

The jury is expected to hear closing arguments on Friday morning, Dec. 3. The case will then be given to the jury of six women and six men.

Hargraves has been accused of nine charges in all, including two counts of Level 1 felony rape along with other felony gun, intimidation, and confinement charges from an incident on Sept. 10, 2020.

The rape charges carry a sentence of anywhere from 20 to 40 years in prison.

A young woman accused Hargraves of raping her at his home in McCordsville after he pointed a gun at her.

The jury heard two full days of testimony, including from the young woman. Hargraves did not take the stand.

The state, represented by chief deputy prosecutor Aimee Herring, wrapped up its case late Thursday afternoon after calling five more witnesses. Hargraves’ attorney, Jeffrey McClarnon, had cross-examined the state’s witnesses but did not call any witnesses of his own.

McClarnon suggested that the young woman was lying about the encounter and made the whole thing up. He said after she informed a school counselor that she had sex with Hargraves, the story was reported by the counselor to law enforcement, so the girl had to keep repeating what McClarnon called a lie.

“Isn’t it possible she made the whole thing up,” McClarnon asked the state’s witness, who replied “yes.” Herring quickly responded, asking the witness, “Isn’t it also possible she’s telling the truth?” to which the witness said, “yes, it is possible.”

The state finished up the case by bringing up the fact Hargraves left the county for several months after he knew charges were pending against him and had to be brought back to the county with the help of U.S. Marshals.

McClarnon noted there was a difference between fleeing and not turning himself in and hinted that his client was just across the county line, in Lawrence, and simply didn’t turn himself in to officials.

Herring, however, replied there are jail calls in which Hargraves admitted he knew there was a warrant for his arrest and that’s why he left the county.