PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A jury has found Arthur Henderson guilty of raping three women, but not guilty of allegedly robbing and beating a man.
During an emotional hour-long closing argument Monday, Henderson claimed that he’s been framed for the three rapes with which he’s been charged.
“I have proof that these crimes were not committed by me,” he said. “They have not one bit of proof. They didn’t bring out one piece of physical evidence against me. Gloves, masks, hidden identities, it doesn’t make sense. Ninety percent of the people who got on that stand either lied or falsified evidence.”
He challenged the timeline that placed him at various crime scenes.
“It didn’t happen. I’m being set up. It’s evident. It’s a lie,” Henderson said.
And referencing the detectives who worked on the case, “That’s not detective work, that’s frame work.”
At one point Judge Donna Jo McDaniel cautioned him that he was out of line claiming certain detectives lied, and she cautioned that he was rambling.
Regarding the DNA evidence, which prosecutors said made it a certainty he was at the crime scenes, “In the quintillions”, Henderson said, “My DNA is not a crime. All that shows is we had sex. How is that evidence?”
As he left the courtroom heading back to a holding area during a break before the prosecution gives its closing argument, he looked at KDKA’s Harold Hayes and said, “print that.”
In her closing argument, prosecutor Laura Ditka, referring to the DNA odds told the jury, “Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. If you don’t believe the victims then you have a quintillion other reasons to convict. Mr. Henderson is right. DNA is not a crime. What is a crime is depositing your DNA in the three victims. This case has been proven beyond any and all doubt.”
“Please do not be distracted by the sometimes circus-like presentation of the defendant,” Ditka said.
The jury began deliberating at 12:45 p.m. and delivered the guilty verdict around 4 p.m.
Ditka said after the verdict, “Testifying in a rape case is is one of the hardest things anybody will ever do and testifying to the person who assaulted you is so traumatic and they all stood very strong and never wavered and I think they deserve all the credit, along with the police.”
Long-time defense attorney Pat Thomassey who is not connected with this case said, “There’s an old saying that whoever represents himself in court has a fool for a client.”
But defense attorney Richard Narvin, appointed by the court to assist Henderson said he doubted the outcome would have been much different had be been represented by an attorney.
Henderson will be sentenced next month. Courthouse observers say he could face 30-60 years in prison for the rape convictions.
He was found not guilty of the robbery of a man in a separate incident.