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CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER ACQUITTED OF RAPE AND ASSAULT OF EX-GIRLFRIEND

Abdul Muhammad, a convicted Buffalo sex offender, was acquitted Monday by a State Supreme Court jury of raping and physically assaulting his former girlfriend last spring.

The jury, after about an hour of deliberations at the end of a two-day trial before Justice Joseph S. Forma, found Muhammad innocent of first-degree rape and second-degree assault for the Loepere Street incident last March 19.

Formerly known as Al Boykins, 28, Muhammad has been jailed since he was taken into custody on March 26 after he returned to the flat he had shared with the 34-year-old woman. Muhammad was released from custody in the courtroom moments after the verdict was announced late Monday afternoon.

Muhammad didn't testify or present any defense witnesses.

But John K. Jordan, his attorney, questioned the credibility of the woman and told the jury she was just trying to get back at Muhammad for the break-up of their relationship.

Muhammad, who had faced a life term if convicted, declined to comment, but Jordan said "apparently the jury didn't find the alleged victim very credible."

She said that about 9 a.m. last March 19, he entered her bedroom, told her he wanted to have sex and when she refused, choked her and raped her before leaving.

Court officials said that in 1986 Muhammad was granted youthful offender status for sexually molesting a female relative. He also served brief prison terms for a 1987 Buffalo rape and for a 1992 Buffalo burglary, officials said.

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