WEST CHESTER - A Phoenixville man was found not guilty on a variety of sexual assault charges, including rape and aggravated indecent assault, last Thursday after a two-day trial.
Appearing before Chester County Judge Phyllis Streitel, Robert Paul Nattle, 53, of St. Mary's Street, Phoenixville, was cleared of two counts of sexual assault and indecent assault, along with single counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent exposure and simple assault, in connection with an alleged rape of a borough woman in her residence last June.
With the case now behind him, Nattle said, "I would like to thank everyone that's supported me through this entire ordeal."
His lawyer, Stephen I. Baer, was out of town and unavailable for comment.
According to Assistant District Attorney Jill Anderson, Nattle admitted to having sex with the woman, whose name is being withheld by The Phoenix, on June 27, 2003.
"He admitted it, but said it was consensual," said Anderson. "Our victim claims otherwise."
Anderson said although Nattle didn't take the stand in his defense, two audio tapes were played during the trial.
"On the first tape, Nattle said that he didn't have intercourse with the victim," said Anderson. "On the second tape, he was notified that DNA evidence was found on the victim, to which he admitted to having intercourse.
"Apparently he didn't want to admit to it, mainly due to his marriage and his family. He was embarrassed."
The woman told police she was at the Friendship Firehouse bar in Phoenixville when she saw Nattle walk in around 3:45 p.m. June 27.
According to police reports, after each had a beer at the bar, Nattle gave the woman a ride home, and dropped her off in front of her residence. Police said Nattle returned approximately 15 minutes later with a six-pack of beer. Police reports stated that Nattle forced the woman on a bed and raped her.
Anderson said she presented two nurses, one from Phoenixville Hospital, and a sexual assault nursing examiner (SANE) nurse from Brandywine Hospital, who both saw the woman the night of the incident.
"During the exam of the victim, we found sufficient evidence, including DNA, to go along with our case," she said. "However, it appears it came down to a version of 'he said, she said' and the jury found in his favor."
Anderson said it is unknown at this time whether the woman will file any civil lawsuit.