Woman’s death may end rape case

PORTLAND — A 32-year-old Newport woman who died in a car crash was in the midst of a fight to put away a man accused of sexually attacking her. Now, with April Loper dead and her statements to authorities deemed inadmissible, her family fears the case against 51-year-old Thomas Acosta could be dismissed.

The trial was set to begin last week, with Acosta facing charges that include first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, sexual abuse and strangulation, according to The Oregonian.

Lincoln County deputy chief District Attorney Marcia Buckley sought exceptions to hearsay rules that would have allowed Loper’s statements to a nurse and to family and friends to be admitted as evidence. But Lincoln County Circuit Judge Charles Littlehales ruled the testimony would not be allowed, and that leaves prosecutors with little evidence remaining.

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