NORMAN — Defendant Raymond Bates sat between his lawyers Tuesday, holding his head in his hands as each verdict for each of the 11 charges he faced were read one by one. As the verdict on the final count was read, he broke into a quiet sob.
The Cleveland County jury, who deliberated for about three hours, found Bates not guilty on all 11 counts, including four counts of first-degree rape and seven counts of lewd acts to children.
“Thank you,” Bates mouthed to the jury, nodding toward them after the verdict was read.
After the courtroom was cleared, Bates’ mother sat waiting in the hallway for her son’s defense attorney, Sam Talley. As Talley exited the courtroom, they embraced and tears welled up in both of their eyes.
“Thank you so much. I can’t thank you enough. I never thought I’d see him again,” Bates’ mother said during the embrace.
Talley said Bates plans to return to Ohio, where he is from, with his mother.
During Bates’ testimony Monday, Bates said he believed the girls involved in the case accused him of the crimes because they were upset with him.
He had been living with the girls and his girlfriend at the time at their home in Moore. After Bates and his girlfriend broke up, he continued to live at the home and he said they wanted him out of the house.
Bates said he believed the girls said the things they did because they wanted him gone.
With no job and no money, he continued to live at the home, pretty much locking himself up in the house, he said. He moved back home to Ohio after his sister purchased a bus ticket for him because he had received physical threats to get out of the house, he said.