A Suffolk Superior Court jury Thursday convicted a Virginia man of raping a co-worker in her Boston hotel room in October 2018, authorities said.
Jurors found Marc C. Gibson, 46, of Centerville, Va., guilty of two counts of rape and one count of secretly photographing an unclothed person, District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office said in a statement.
Gibson’s public defenders didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rollins’s office said Gibson and the female victim were part of a group of security consultants staying at the Renaissance Hotel at the time of the assault. The woman testified that she felt sick after dinner and drinks, and Gibson helped her to her room and into bed, Rollins’s office said.
The evidence showed the 270-pound Gibson took her room key card, returned to the room later, and “forced himself on her sexually,” the statement said. “He also took explicit cellphone photos of her without her knowledge while she was unconscious.”
The woman testified that she initially tried to move away but felt scared and believed she was unable to fight off Gibson, prosecutors said.
That testimony led to a dispute over jury instructions that the state Supreme Judicial Court had to resolve.
“The presiding judge stated this [fear] was insufficient evidence of violence to support a finding of forcible rape,” the statement said. “The judge further explained that he intended to use his own jury instruction — rather than the standard version authorized by the SJC — to inform the jury that they could convict Gibson only if they found that the victim was too intoxicated to consent.”
The statement didn’t name the judge, but court records indicate Judge Kenneth W. Salinger presided over the trial. A Trial Court spokeswoman said Salinger couldn’t comment on the case, citing the code of judicial conduct.
Rollins’s office said prosecutors objected to Salinger’s decision on jury instructions, and the trial was put on hold while the matter was presented to a single justice of the SJC.
In a ruling Tuesday, Justice Scott L. Kafker of the SJC “directed the Superior Court judge to use the standard jury instruction for rape, including a provision on force which states that ‘if a person submits because of fear it is not consent,’ ” Rollins’s office said.
“The terror and fear experienced during a sexual assault is exhibited differently by each survivor,” Rollins said in the statement. “The SJC has now made clear what many survivors already know: submission due to fear is never consent. We are grateful that an attempt to impose a different, unreasonable standard was thwarted and a rapist will now be held accountable.”