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Former martial arts teacher acquitted of marital rape

A former martial arts teacher has been found not guilty of raping his wife in their Coquille home.

Forest Freeman was arrested in March after his wife said he raped her following a night of heavy drinking.

The wife testified this week that the two had consensual sex, but her husband pinned her down and raped her in an hour-long attack after she got up to take a shower.

Freeman also testified, telling the court that "nothing terribly out of the ordinary" happened during the sexual encounter.

The World newspaper of Coos Bay reported Thursday that the jury's decision was the second such marital-rape verdict in Coos County this summer. In June, jurors found a Myrtle Pont man not guilty.

Freeman had faced charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree unlawful penetration.

The two-day trial featured conflicting opinions from expert medical witnesses.

Karen Briggs, a nurse who examined the wife after the alleged rape, testified that the victim had two 4.5-inch abrasions on her inner thighs and three other scratches. Briggs said the abrasions were consistent with a sexual assault.

But forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Propst, who testified for the defense, said the woman's injuries were minor.

On the first day of the trial, the wife wiped away tears from the witness stand as she listened to herself tell a 911 operator, "I'm afraid he is going to hurt me."

Freeman can be heard in the background, "Hang up the phone. I did not touch you."

Prosecutor Erica Soublet said Freeman drank three bottles of wine on the night of the alleged rape.

Freeman acknowledged on the witness stand that he has trouble controlling the amount of alcohol he consumes, but said he was having a "very pleasant day" with his wife and daughter before his wife called police. He said he didn't recall his wife telling him to stop.

Defense attorney Jesse Coggins called Cristy Morse to the stand. She is a friend of both Freeman and his wife.

Morse said she drove the victim to the emergency room after the alleged assault. Morse testified that the victim told her she only whispered for Freeman to stop.

Freeman's wife, who was recalled to the stand, testified that she told her husband to stop "many times" and "loudly."

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