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Man convicted of raping teen relative after gospel sing

DOTHAN (AP) — A Houston County jury has convicted a man of raping a 15-year-old female relative in a Dothan motel after the family returned from a gospel sing in which the man performed.

Nathan Williams, 57, was convicted of rape and sexual abuse. The girl, now 18, had testified he raped her in January 2004 between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. after he asked two others in the motel room to leave.

Williams denied the girl’s claim, saying she could have fabricated her story to hide a consensual sexual encounter with someone else.

The Dothan Eagle reported that while Williams was being handcuffed and led out of the courtroom, he spoke to Dothan Police Cpl. Brian Cherry. “You know they made the wrong decision,” he said. “I’m going to be praying for the jurors.”

Six sheriff’s deputies were in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. Tensions between supporters of Williams and the victim were high throughout the trial.

The girl and her family had traveled from Oklahoma to visit relatives. Williams had traveled from Eufaula to visit relatives and perform at the gospel singing event.

They all went to the hotel after the singing.

Asked during her testimony why she didn’t scream or try to leave the room, she replied, “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do or think.”

She said she told a friend what happened later that night, and told another the next day. She told her school counselor when she went back to Oklahoma, and later told her mother.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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