Felicius Bucyukundi

Felicius Bucyukundi

A former Franklin & Marshall College student was acquitted this week of charges that he raped a female in a dorm nearly four years ago.

Felicius Bucyukundi, 24, felt “extreme relief” after Tuesday’s verdict, his attorney, Edwin Pfursich, said Wednesday. “He’s been waiting a long time to get in front of a fair and impartial jury.”

Bucyukundi was charged with rape, sexual assault and seven similar offenses. The Lancaster County jury acquitted him on all counts after about 90 minutes of deliberation, Pfursich said.

Lancaster County Assistant District Attorney Amy Muller said, “We are disappointed in the verdict but we respect the jury’s decision.”

The accuser and Bucyukundi each testified. The accuser said the intercourse on Nov. 16, 2017, was non-consensual, but Bucyukundi denied that intercourse occurred, and testified the sexual activity that did take place was consensual, Pfursich said.

Both testified that the woman began crying during the encounter, at which point Bucyukundi stopped, Pfursich said.

“He’s maintained his innocence the entire time,” Pfursich said. “She never gave him any indication that it was nonconsensual.”

At the time, Bucyukundi was a sophomore and soccer player, studying economics. He was expelled from school shortly after the incident but was not arrested until October 2018, while he was living in Kentucky. 

Bucyukundi spent about a month in jail until he was released on bail in November 2018. He is working as a certified arborist in Texas, Pfursich said. Bucyukundi’s family fled genocide in Rwanda, first living in South Africa for several years and then to the United States when he was 15 years old.

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