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Update: Jury unable to reach verdict, Paso Robles rape case dismissed 

–After more than three days of deliberation, a San Luis Obispo County jury declared they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict, adding that the final jury vote was 10 guilty to 2 not guilty. This is the third trial during which a jury heard all the evidence in this case where Rian B. Mabus, 34, was charged with rape of an intoxicated person. The first two juries were also unable to reach a unanimous verdict on this charge. After the mistrial was declared today, the District Attorney advised the court that the office will not pursue a fourth trial against Mr. Mabus and the case was dismissed.

“We are thankful for this jury’s careful consideration of the evidence and hard work in attempting to reach a verdict in this case. It is unfortunate that they were unable to do so,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “While disappointed with the result, I am confident that our team did absolutely everything we could do to seek justice in this case. We recognize and admire the survivor in this case for her resilient strength and steadfast commitment to the pursuit of justice. We will continue to provide support to her through our Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center.”

The outcome of these three separate trials illustrates how incredibly difficult it can be to prosecute sexual offenses, the DA says. To determine a person is guilty at a criminal jury trial, the law requires that the prosecution provide sufficient evidence to convince a unanimous 12-member jury that each element of the charged criminal offense was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. When a person is charged with rape of an intoxicated person, the law requires the following instruction to be given to the jury:

The defendant is not guilty of this crime if he actually and reasonably believed that the [person] was capable of consenting to sexual intercourse, even if that belief was wrong. The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not actually and reasonably believe that the [person] was capable of consenting. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty.

The DA’s office says it strongly encourages victims of sexual assault to report their victimization to law enforcement for investigation and to seek assistance from victim assistance centers such as or The District Attorney’s Office participates in the “Start By Believing” campaign. You can learn more here:



Update posted June 19, 2017

Update: Paso Robles man returns to court for rape case

–Rian Mabus, the Paso Robles man originally charged with two felony counts of raping his girlfriend’s aunt in an Atascadero home in 2014, returned to trial last month at the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

Mabus was initially charged with two felony counts of rape in connection with the incident. A SLO County jury found Mabus not guilty of one of the charges (rape of an unconscious person) in 2016, But the same jury deadlocked on the second charge of rape of an intoxicated person.

Mabus claimed that the sex between himself and the aunt was consensual. The aunt claimed that she woke up to him raping her after passing out from a night of heavy drinking.


Update posted July 14, 2016

Jury deadlocks on verdict on a count of raping an intoxicated person

–Rian Mabus, a 31-year-old man from Paso Robles who stood trial for allegedly raping his girlfriend’s aunt, was found not guilty on one count by a jury of 11 men and one woman. The jury failed to reach a verdict on the second count, according to reports.

Mabus claimed that the sex between himself and the aunt was consensual. The aunt claimed that she woke up to him raping her after passing out from a night of heavy drinking.

If convicted of both counts, Mabus would have faced a maximum of 10 years in state prison.

Original story posted July 8

Woman claims she was raped by niece’s boyfriend after a night of heavy drinking

–Rian Mabus, a 31-year-old Paso Robles man, is currently standing trial for rape, according to reports.

A woman from Tehachapi, whose identity will not be named because of the nature of the case, was reportedly visiting her niece in Atascadero over Labor Day weekend in 2014 when she says she woke up to her niece’s boyfriend raping her after passing out from a night of heavy drinking, said her representation Deputy District Attorney Julie Antos.

After consuming about five drinks at her niece’s apartment, the woman said she passed out in the bathroom after vomiting. She said that she awoke in a pool of her own vomit in bed with Mabus, who was penetrating her from behind and whispering her name in her ear. She said she drifted in and out of consciousness and did not realize what happened until the next morning.

Mabus first denied having sex with the woman, but after a DNA test came back positive, he reportedly said that the sex was consensual. He said that he awoke in the night to use the bathroom and encountered the victim, who began kissing him, and the two went into the bedroom together. His defense attorney, Matthew Guerrero, suggested that she made up the allegations because she was embarrassed to admit she had sex with her niece’s boyfriend.

If Mabus is convicted, the maximum sentence he can receive is 10 years, reports say. Mabus is a former California National Guardsman.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at