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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — It took a jury about an hour Tuesday night to find Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Winters, 22, not guilty on charges of rape and forcible sodomy after a two-day court-martial.

The case focused on a night of drinking at the base enlisted club on Dec. 23, 2005. The alleged victim, 19 and an Air Force dependent at the time, testified that she first met Winters that night while drinking at the enlisted club. In his dorm room later that night, he attempted to have sex with her against her will, she testified.

At the heart of the case was whether the woman was sober enough to give consent during the incident.

Prosecutors argued that Winters committed a crime because the woman was so incapacitated from about five cocktails, five vodka shots and a shot of bourbon that she could not consent or stop him.

But the defense successfully contended that when the woman wanted to leave — and vomit in Winters’ bathroom before leaving — she could move just fine, and could have stopped Winters’ advances.

“When she wanted to get up, she did get up,” Air Force Maj. Stephen Ganter, Winters’ defense attorney, said during closing arguments.

Maj. Elizabeth Decker, a nurse practitioner at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center who did a sexual assault exam on the woman Dec. 28, 2005, testified during the trial that there was no definitive signs of a sexual assault.

The victim might have reported the incident as a rape, then not told authorities the truth about the night, Ganter said during closing arguments.

“That is intercourse remorse,” he said. “When you allege rape, that is serious.”

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