North Idaho Rape Trial Underway after Jury Delays
LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho rape trial that was delayed for months because dozens of potential jurors failed to show up in court is now underway.
The Lewiston Tribune (http://bit.ly/1tzuIw1 ) reports that a jury was seated Monday for the rape trial of Peter H. Bakker in Lewiston. Bakker has pleaded not guilty to the charge; prosecutors say he assaulted a 17-year-old girl last year.
The trial was originally scheduled for July, but it was postponed for five months after nearly half of the 80 potential jurors failed to show up. Over the next several weeks, 2nd District Judge Jeff Brudie called the missing jurors to court to explain their absence, saying some could face contempt charges. Many of the missing jurors said they were confused by the court's notification system, thinking they didn't need to call in to check until midweek. That led them to miss their Sunday notification summoning them for the rape case.
This time around, all but 10 of the 80-member panel of potential jurors showed up for the selection process.