A BUILDER has been cleared of raping and battering a “lost” woman he picked up in the early hours of the morning.
Scott Stevenson had denied taking the 35-year-old to a deserted street behind Asda at Chesser, and forcing her to perform a sex act.
He also denied repeatedly punching her and slamming her cheek off the dashboard of his works van so hard her jaw was broken.
Stevenson, 42, claimed in his defence that his alleged victim had not only consented to sex, she also told him she was a “working girl” and charged him £20 for her services.
Giving evidence in his own defence at the High Court in Livingston, he said it had “seemed like a good idea at the time” to offer the former drug addict a lift home.
He added: “It was the worst decision I’ve made in my life and it’s left a stain on my family.”
The site foreman said the rape accusation, for which he spent time in custody on remand, was completely groundless.
He told the court that he’d had a meeting with the boss of the construction firm he worked for to organise tradesmen and materials for the following day.
He then bought sweets and soft drinks for a friend and was on his way to visit her when he saw his alleged victim looking lost in the early hours of June 30 last year.
He said she had told him she was a “working girl” and offered to give him sexual favours in return for cash.
He agreed and said she willingly performed a sex act on him for £20 before he dropped her off – uninjured – at a 24-hour service station in Slateford, near her boyfriend’s home.
The woman’s claim that she escaped from the van in New Mart Street after fighting Stevenson off was not backed up by CCTV evidence which showed no-one on the pavement as his van drove away from the scene.
The jury heard forensic evidence that there was no trace of the woman’s blood or DNA on the dashboard of the van.
The jury took less than three hours yesterday to return a unanimous verdict finding Stevenson not guilty.
Judge Lord Kinclaven formally acquitted him.