Groom Found Guilty of Attempting to Sexually Assault Bridesmaid Days Before Wedding
A Monroe County, Pennsylvania, jury found a man accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a bridesmaid in his and his now-wife's wedding party ahead of their 2019 nuptials guilty on four out of five charges.
The jury, made up of five women and seven men, began deliberations around 1 p.m. Thursday, according to local news outlet WNEP.
After nine hours of deliberation, Carney, 30, was found guilty on four out of the five charges he was facing: attempted sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, simple assault, and indecent assault without the consent of others, per WFMZ.
He was found not guilty of attempt to rape an unconscious victim.
"We were disappointed by the verdict and will be pursuing an appeal," Carney's attorney, Jim Swetz, tells PEOPLE in a statement.
Carney allegedly forced himself on one of his wife's bridesmaids on August 30, 2019, following a pre-wedding celebration that involved drinking and rafting on the Delaware River.
Police began investigating after the victim, then 29, went to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono and told hospital staff that she had been sexually assaulted, court records said according to The Morning Call.
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According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE at the time, Carney insisted to police he did nothing wrong, and that he "felt like he was taken advantage of by the victim."
However, he later amended his account, allegedly admitting he grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her into the men's locker room at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in Shawnee on Delaware, where the alleged assault occurred.
Investigators were able to obtain surveillance footage that allegedly corroborates aspects of the victim's account, which was shown to the jury during Tuesday's testimony, according to WFMZ.
The woman said she lost consciousness because of her intoxication and woke up to a sharp pain as Carney allegedly bit her and groped her. She said she lost consciousness again, and alleged she woke up to find Carney on top of her.
Carney's wife allegedly found him and the victim in the shower, the maid of honor said, per WNEP.
Carney allegedly texted the bridesmaid after the alleged assault, saying he made a mistake and he's happy to marry his wife, a state police forensic investigator told the jury, per WFMZ.
In an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE in 2019, detectives reviewed the text messages allegedly sent from Carney to the victim, which read, "I wanted to apologize again for everything. Can we please just be as happy as possible for [the bride] today? Mistakes are behind us and I just need total closure before I do this [that is] why I'm sending this. I'm as happy as ever to marry [the bride] and I know this is terrible as well but my d— was out in the shower."
"We never did do it but would you consider taking plan b to make damn certain just in case? There is almost no chance but still. Please tell me yes I'm begging you," the text continued.