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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 15:19 GMT
Doctor cleared of raping teachers
Mark Rance
Mark Rance said the two teachers consented to having sex
A doctor has been cleared of raping two women in their flat after meeting them on a drunken night in a Brighton bar.

Mark Rance, 31, of Dover Road in Worthing, West Sussex, had denied two counts of rape, maintaining the flatmates consented to sex with him.

A Lewes Crown Court jury acquitted him on Friday after deliberating for three hours at the end of a week-long trial.

The court had heard Dr Rance met the teachers, X and Y, at the Karma bar in Brighton Marina on 10 September 2005.

Prosecutors said after they all returned to the flat, the women both woke up in their beds to find Dr Rance having sex with them.

Separate bedrooms

But the doctor, who was on a research fellowship at the Blond McIndoe Research Centre in East Grinstead, told the court neither objected.

He said he first had sex with X, then Y, in their separate bedrooms but neither was asleep at any time.

Afterwards he let himself out of the flat and went to spend the night on his speedboat.

On hearing the verdict, Dr Rance nodded in agreement. Judge Richard Brown told him: "You are free to go."

Outside the court, the doctor jogged away to avoid reporters' questions.

His friends and family, some of whom were in tears after the verdict, also declined to comment.


SEE ALSO
Rape charge man's 'consent' claim
13 Dec 06 |  Southern Counties
Doctor denies double rape charge
11 Dec 06 |  Southern Counties

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