DRACUT — A 22-year-old former Dracut football star accused in 2014 of assaulting or accosting several women in an effort to rape them was acquitted by a jury of over half the charges he faced in Lowell Superior Court on Wednesday.
But the jury in the trial of Bryant Tuff could not reach a verdict on several more charges, leaving open the possibility that Tuff could be retried on those counts.
Tuff, a former all-star football player at Dracut High School, was 19 when he was arrested in 2014 and charged with assaulting and attempting to rape a woman who had just left a Dracut gym.
That woman told police she left the gym in Dracut, drove home to Lowell, and got assaulted by a man who knocked her down and tried to pull her pants and underwear down before she fought him off, according to police.
Tuff was initially held without bail even though four of his family members testified that he was home playing video games and smoking marijuana at the time of the attack.
Later in 2014, Tuff was indicted on a series of charges alleging that he also assaulted or accosted four other women who had just left the Dracut gym or who were wearing gym clothes.
Tuff was indicted on three counts of assault with intent to rape, five counts of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, two counts of assault and battery and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over.
Following a 9-day jury trial in Lowell Superior Court, a jury deliberated for about two days before returning a partial verdict Wednesday morning.
The jury found Tuff not guilty of two counts of assault with intent to rape, indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over, assault and battery, and two counts of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, according to court records.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on one count of assault with intent to rape, one count of assault and battery, and three counts of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, according to court records.
A spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office did not immediately return a message seeking comment on whether Tuff will be retried.
Superior Court Judge Robert Ullman scheduled a hearing for Monday on whether Tuff will continue to be held on bail.
Tuff’s attorney, Debra DeWitt, said Ullmann also asked prosecutors to advise him by Monday whether they will seek to retry Tuff on the remaining charges.
DeWitt, who says Tuff was wrongly identified as the attacker, said the amount of time the jury spent deliberating showed that they gave the case a lot of thought.
“This was clearly an identification case, and on the six (charges) that were acquitted there was no identification of anyone as being the perpetrator,” DeWitt said. “There was a partial identification on the hung counts, but I think (the jury) was hung on whether or not the commonwealth really proved it was him on those five counts.”
DeWitt said her client was happy with the verdict, though he continues to be held as prosecutors decide how to proceed.