Derick Reza Foroutan was convicted of first-degree rape, a Class A felony.
Prosecutors said Foroutan forcibly had sex with the girl on July 17, 2012, in his Anniston home. (The Star is withholding other information about the girl to avoid publicly identifying her as a victim of rape.)
Foroutan’s trial began in Calhoun County Circuit Court on Monday and jurors heard testimony from the girl’s stepmother, a forensic examiner and a doctor. Samuel Frederick, a forensic analyst, testified today that evidence recovered from the girl’s sexual assault kit after the rape matched a sample of Foroutan’s DNA collected by Anniston police after his arrest.
The girl’s stepmother told the jury the victim called her shortly after the incident. The stepmother testified she called police right away and took the girl for an examination. The woman testified that she had taken care of the victim after her biological mother abandoned her when the victim was 6. The victim, now 12, is in foster care.
During the trial’s closing arguments, Amanda Young, a prosecutor from the Calhoun County District Attorney’s Office, asked the jurors to hold Foroutan responsible for his actions. Young said not holding Foroutan accountable would do a disservice to the girl and this community.
“Do not allow the rape of children to be tolerated in Calhoun County,” she said.
Chris Albert, Foroutan’s court-appointed attorney, said there were inconsistencies with the girl’s story, whereas Foroutan “has never once changed his story. He has always denied doing it.”
Albert asked the jurors to consider that there were enough inconsistencies to find the state didn’t meet its burden of proof.
“If Mr. Foroutan is falsely convicted the results would be horrendous for him,” Albert said.
The jury, comprised of seven women and five men, deliberated for a half-hour before reaching the verdict.
Young said her office was pleased with the jury’s decision.
“We set out to get justice for (the victim) and that’s what the jury returned. It was a very straightforward trial,” Young said. “There was DNA evidence that came back as a positive match to the defendant. So it was a very clear-cut process.”
Albert thanked the members of the jury for their service, but declined to comment on their decision.
Foroutan was shackled and taken to the Calhoun County Jail after the verdict was announced. He will remain in the jail without bond until his sentencing hearing Sept. 3, according to Circuit Judge Brian Howell. A minimum sentence is 20 years in prison, Howell said. The maximum amount of time is 99 years in prison, the judge said.
Staff Writer Rachael Brown: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RBrown_Star.