A Dunedin truck driver had to be stabilised in the dock by security staff when he was acquitted of sex charges yesterday.
After a day of deliberation, a jury in the Dunedin District Court unanimously found David Alan Hill not guilty of rape.
They also cleared him of indecent assault by majority verdict.
When the second acquittal came from the forewoman, Hill appeared to stagger in the dock and was propped up by a security guard beside him.
He broke down in tears as Judge Michael Crosbie thanked the jurors for their diligence.
Hill had been accused of plying a 16-year-old girl with alcohol and raping her after she fell asleep on his couch.
The girl had gone to the house with a friend because they knew a teenage relative of the defendant, the court heard.
The quartet consumed bourbon and the other two went to bed, leaving Hill and the complainant in the lounge.
She told the jury she had woken to the man violating her.
Defence counsel Anne Stevens said her version of events was unbelievable.
The teen told the court she had not been drunk but the defendant had been able to remove all her clothes and manoeuvre her into a position on the couch without waking her.
Hill told police the girl had been the sexual aggressor.
He said she pinned him down and demanded sex, and when he finally began to acquiesce, her demeanour changed.
The complainant rushed to the bedroom where her two friends were sleeping.
One of the witnesses said she had not complained specifically about being raped but that the man had "tried'' to rape her.
Hill immediately followed her in and vehemently denied the allegations.
By the next morning, the defendant was in the bed with all four teens and had allegedly positioned himself behind the complainant.
He explained he had gone in there to work out what the drama from the previous night had been about.
But the girl claimed he had rubbed his groin against her, then asked her whether she was going to make a police complaint.
The teenagers spent the morning at Hill's house, where they had breakfast, before he dropped them all off in town.
The complainant had made no attempt to leave — further evidence, Stevens said, of her client's innocence.
It was six months before the teenager made a police complaint and the defendant later sat down with Detective Dave Checketts, where he staunchly denied the accusations.
"I can tell you now, I'm not a rapist. It's just not in me. I'm not the type of person to do that to anybody," Hill said.
The jury trying his case was reduced to 11 on the first day of trial.
Judge Michael Crosbie dismissed one of the jurors after he repeatedly fell asleep during the complainant's evidence.