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US Man Cleared of Rape After 5 Years in Philippine Jail

  • Associated Press

An American man jailed in the Philippines for more than five years was freed Tuesday after being acquitted of rape.

A court in metropolitan Manila cleared Scott McMahon, of Seattle, after finding no clear evidence that he committed rape, as a Filipino woman alleged, a court official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

A jail officer, Omar Surigao, said that after the acquittal, McMahon was released from the Muntinlupa City jail in metropolitan Manila. He said McMahon's mother, Shelley Campanella, was among those present when McMahon was released.

McMahon, who has two children with his Filipino fiancee, had been detained since April 7, 2011.

Campanella has said that her son was wrongly accused of rape by the woman after he filed a case against her for allegedly traumatizing his young son.

The woman, the wife of McMahon's friend, had allegedly burst into McMahon's home with police, shouting as she looked for her estranged husband. The incident allegedly traumatized the son.

"We are so thrilled that this part of the nightmare is over and that Scott will not be spending another day in prison,'' McMahon's sister, Jennifer, said in a video posted on Facebook, calling the rape accusation "retaliation'' by the woman for the case McMahon had filed against her.

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