Mesko, left, in court

Ithaca, N.Y. — After days of deliberations, a Tompkins County jury was unable to break a deadlock and failed to reach a verdict on a rape charge leveled against a former Cornell student.

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Peter Mesko, 23, was found guilty of two felony counts — sexual abuse and burglary — but the jurors were unable to come to a decision on the rape charge.

That constitutes a mistrial on the rape charge, the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Friday. It wasn’t immediately clear if there would be a retrial. The other felony convictions stand.

Mesko’s lawyer confirmed that the former Cornell student posted bail Thursday night.

Mesko walked out of the courtroom Friday afternoon with a grin on his face, surrounded by about 30 friends and family, many of whom exchanged hugs.

“We’re not going to talk; we still have a pending case ahead of us,” Mesko’s attorney said in a brief interview.

Mesko then walked out of the courtroom. He will return to court on March 27 at 3:30 p.m. to be sentenced on the two felony counts on which he was convicted.

He faces a minimum of two years in state prison on those charges.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.