Trial begins for man accused of raping woman while on first date

LOGAN — The three-day jury trial for a 24-year-old man accused of raping a woman while the two were on a first date began Tuesday. Neal O. Eddington is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies.

Following jury selection and opening statements, the alleged victim testified about the events surrounding the reported assault on October 5, 2017. She described how after having dinner, the two went to her Logan townhome to watch a movie. Afterwards, they went to her bedroom where Eddington reportedly became forceful, ripping her pants and bra, and telling her he was going to, “break her.”

She described to the jury how through the course of the night, the defendant forced her to perform oral sex multiple times. As she repeatedly told him “no,” Eddington allegedly said, “he couldn’t help himself because she was so beautiful,” and he had battled a porn addiction for years. He also told her, he was a prophet and that god wanted them to have sex.

The victim began to cry on the stand as she explained feeling terrified and disgusted during the assault. “I didn’t want those things to happen to me,” she said.

Eddington’s defense attorney claimed the sex was consensual, and the victim was ashamed because her roommates knew the defendant spent the night with her. She also showed how the victim’s account of the assault had changed from her testimony during a January preliminary hearing. She said her client made mistakes that night that he is not proud of, but there was a difference between that and criminal behavior.

The trial is expected to continue through Thursday.

Eddington remains out of jail on bail. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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