A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury on Friday acquitted a 33-year-old Philadelphia man of raping a woman in 2016, but was deadlocked on similar charges involving a second woman.
The defendant, Irvin "Gotti" Harper, did not testify at the trial but maintained that he had consensual sexual relations with both women, his attorney, James Lloyd, said. Harper, who remained in custody, was convicted of illegally possessing a firearm without a license and of possession of drugs with intent to deliver.
Harper was accused of raping a woman, then 19, at gunpoint in January 2016 at his Germantown home. But the woman testified that she and Harper had exchanged numbers and met again a few days later and had consensual sex, Lloyd said. The jury acquitted Harper of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, kidnapping, and possession of an instrument of crime.
"I think they found her not credible," said Lloyd, adding that the woman did not report the incident to police until months later.
In the second case, a then-21-year-old woman contended that on Oct. 16, 2016, she was in a Germantown park when Harper came by. They went to various locations before he drove her to another residence of his on the 600 block of Federal Street in South Philadelphia, where they had sexual relations, Lloyd said. The woman testified that she did not want to have sex with Harper, Lloyd said.
The jury deadlocked on rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, kidnapping, and sexual assault charges.
Police arrested Harper on Nov. 3, 2016, at his Federal Street residence, where they found narcotics and a handgun. Evidence at the trial indicated that the cocaine and heroin found in his home had a street value between $5,000 and $20,000, Lloyd said.
Lloyd said Harper told him he was nicknamed Gotti "because his grandmother is Italian." He said another man with the same nickname has been alleged by law-enforcement authorities to be involved in human trafficking. Lloyd said the two women may have reported Harper to police after hearing word on the street about the other man.