Mistrial declared in alleged rape case

Jury returns after six hours with no verdict

PORT TOWNSEND — A Jefferson County judge has declared a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict in an alleged child rape case.

Superior Court Judge Keith Harper called a hung jury Thursday following six hours of deliberations.

The case involves Nathaniel Thomas Caylor, 39, of Port Townsend, who has been charged with two counts of first-degree rape of a child and a separate count of first-degree child molestation.

A status hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 14 to determine the next steps.

The state may choose to retry the case, deputy prosecuting attorney Anna Phillips said.

All of the charges involve a girl who was 8 at the time of the first alleged incident in 2018, according to court documents.

All three crimes are Class A felonies punishable by a maximum of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. Each would be considered a strike under Washington’s three-strikes law that, if convicted, requires a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Caylor pleaded not guilty to all three charges at his initial arraignment hearing last March.

The trial began Monday with jury selection.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Julie St. Marie presented the state’s case, and Scott Charlton of Jefferson Associated Counsel presented the case for the defense.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon and resumed discussions at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Jurors worked through the lunch hour before they returned a note at about 1:45 p.m. that said they wouldn’t be able to reach a verdict.

When Harper called them into the courtroom, he asked the floor leader for the result. Then he proceeded to ask each individual juror whether they thought they could reach a decision within a reasonable amount of time, either on all charges or for any charges.

All 12 jurors answered “no” to both questions.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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