Sex Crimes

Man falsely linked to marathon bombs cleared of sex assault

Runners are seen at the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

Runners are seen at the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.  (AP)

A Massachusetts man once falsely linked by a New York newspaper to the Boston Marathon bombing has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a woman while in college.

A Massachusetts newspaper, the Sentinel & Enterprise, reports that 21-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum was found not guilty Wednesday of indecent assault and battery.

Prosecutors alleged Barhoum, then a student at Fitchburg State University, assaulted a student from New Hampshire's Franklin Pierce University in November 2015. The two had met online.

His lawyer said the encounter was consensual.

Barhoum was 16 when he was pictured with a friend on the front page of the New York Post three days after the 2013 bombing. A sub-headline read: "Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon." He sued the newspaper for defamation and reached an undisclosed settlement.