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Bibb nanny rape trial ends in hung jury

A Bibb County judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case of a 44-year-old Macon man accused of raping a nanny at her employers’ home in 2008.

Rudolph Valentino Smith is charged with rape, kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy and burglary.

Jurors deliberated for two hours Friday and about two hours Monday morning before sending a note out to the judge saying, “we cannot reach a verdict.”

Prosecutor Nancy Scott Malcor said the case will go to trial again at a date determined by the judge.

Smith will remain at the Bibb County jail, she said.

Debra Gomez, Smith’s attorney, declined to comment Monday.

Friends and family members of the nanny exchanged encouraging hugs with her in the hallway after jurors were sent home.

The nanny said it’s already been hard to wait for the case to go to trial. Now she has to wait longer.

“It’s very overwhelming and very frightening to think that someone could hurt you and get away with it,” she said.

But at the same time, the 23-year-old nanny said she feels lucky she was able to tell her side of the story. Many women are raped, and their attackers never go to trial, she said.

While waiting for the case to be retried, the nanny said she plans to continue to advocate for a new state law restricting the jobs felons can do inside people’s homes after their release from prison.

At the time of the alleged rape, Smith cleaned homes in a subdivision off Bass Road. He’d previously been convicted of six felonies dating back to 1986 that ranged from robbery to voluntary manslaughter, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial, legislators should make the bill a priority, the nanny said.

“The bill is so important,” she said, “now more than ever.”

Earlier Monday morning, the judge announced in court that a juror, who has a “strong opinion” that differed from the other jurors, tried to contact one of the prosecutors during the weekend. The prosecutor didn’t respond to the call.

The judge called the juror to the witness stand Monday and reminded him of his duty to deliberate with the other jurors, but that he should not change his opinion for the sake of agreeing with the other jurors.

Smith testified Thursday that the nanny attacked him and accused him of rape after requesting his help with a thermostat inside the house.

He denied raping or sexually assaulting the then-21-year-old woman.

Deputies ushered Smith out of the courtroom at the end of his testimony Thursday as he yelled profanity, proclaimed his innocence and blamed “white people with money” for the allegations against him.

A former DNA analyst for the GBI testified Thursday that DNA taken from hair found on Smith’s boxers matched the nanny’s. Male DNA also was found on items included in the sexual assault evidence collected from the nanny, but the DNA could not be matched to a particular person’s identity.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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