Jury acquits Cashmere defendant on one rape charge, deadlocks on a second

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WENATCHEE — A rape trial that’s been pending since 2018 ended Wednesday with acquittal on one charge, and a hung jury on another.

The Chelan County jury found Blake Badgley, 23, of Cashmere not guilty of third-degree rape, but said it could not reach a decision on the more serious charge of rape in the second degree.

Badgley was accused of having sex with the alleged victim during a party in Monitor in June 2018, while she was intoxicated and unable to consent. Chelan County sheriff’s deputies said witnesses at the party recalled Badgley entering the woman’s room about 4:15 a.m., about an hour after she went to bed, and commenting that he was going to get sex.

Badgley’s attorney, Brandon Redal, told NCWLIFE the facts and witness testimony didn’t support the charges. He said a majority of the jury appeared to support acquittal on the charge of second-degree rape as well as the lesser third-degree count, but could not reach unanimity.

The Chelan County Prosecutor’s Office now must decide whether to pursue a second trial in the remaining second-degree rape count. Badgley is scheduled to return to court for a status hearing on October 20th. He remains free on $100,000 bond.

Superior Court Judge Robert Jourdan presided over the testimony, and ultimately declared a mistrial Wednesday morning on the second-degree charge. Jurors deliberated for about 12 hours over two days before announcing they could not reach a verdict .

Chelan County Superior Court Judge Kristin Ferrera

Jourdan was the second judge to preside over the trial, which began jury selection Sept. 7 and commenced testimony Sept. 14. Superior Court Judge Kristin Ferrera oversaw jury selection and was designated to manage the full trial, but announced Sept. 13 she had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and withdrew from the case.

It was Ferrera’s second bout with COVID-19; the 42-year-old judge first tested positive for the pandemic virus in May 2020, while preparing to hear a lawsuit that sought unsuccessfully to overrule Gov. Jay Inslee’s public health mandates to control the disease. She heard that case remotely.

Ferrera told NCWLIFE her second infection with the virus left her “quite sick,” but she recovered and returned to work this week.