COLUMBIA — A mistrial was declared Friday afternoon in the case of a Columbia man accused of sexually assaulting and robbing a woman on MU's campus.

Mohamed A. Mostafa, 41, was charged with first-degree rape and robbery after a woman reported that a man she'd met downtown had sexually assaulted her and then stolen her cell phone in the early hours of May 29, 2015 near University Hall and Walton Stadium. She told police the man fled after he raped her, according to previous Missourian reporting.

At 1 p.m. Friday, Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict on either count. In one of three notes provided to Crane during the lengthy deliberation, the jury said they were deadlocked 8-4 early Thursday evening. Near the end of their deliberations Thursday night, the vote was 10-2 in favor of a guilty verdict on the rape charge.

After Friday's declaration of a mistrial, Boone County Public Defender Jeremy Pilkington requested Mostafa’s $500,000 bond be reduced, but Crane denied the motion.

Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Cecily L. Daller said she would pursue another prosecution of Mostafa.

The case would receive priority scheduling.

The trial

On the second day of the trial, an employee of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory testified that DNA collected from the victim after the assault matched the DNA profile of a sample collected from Mostafa’s belt buckle. The evidence was considered a vital part of the state's case.

Mostafa identified himself in two of three surveillance videos collected as evidence.  In one clip of surveillance footage, a person matching Mostafa’s description was seen west of The FieldHouse, which is near where the woman said she met Mostafa. Mostafa agreed it was him in the footage. But he did not identify himself as the person seen following the victim near Cherry Street parking garage in another video, though police said it showed a person matching Mostafa’s description.

The woman was also identified in surveillance footage from University Hall on campus, naked from the waist down and appearing to scream for help. She was also holding a black baseball cap, an item of clothing Mostafa could be seen wearing in surveillance footage from that night.

At 2:34 a.m, shortly after the University Hall video was recorded, the woman used an emergency phone on campus to call MU Police and report the crime, which resulted in a Clery release. In a body camera video from the responding MU Police officer shown during the trial, the woman appeared distraught and was bleeding from her face. Other injuries included bruises on her neck and numerous scrapes on her face, knees and back. The victim reported being choked during the rape.

Mostafa, a Sudanese refugee, spoke in court with the aide of translators. In his testimony, he said he did not want to have sex with the woman and she forced it on him. He also said he did not take her cell phone.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed

  • Spring 2018 advanced reporter covering the Community beat. I am a final-semester senior studying print and digital reporting. Reach me at hannahblack@mail.missouri.edu, and follow me on Twitter @hannahcblack.

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