Image: Gary Zerola
Ted Fitzgerald  /  AP
Boston attorney Gary Zerola, center, embraces friends Wednesday in Superior Sourt in Boston after being acquitted for the second time this year of charges related to sexual assault.
updated 3/26/2008 9:50:01 PM ET 2008-03-27T01:50:01

An attorney who once made People magazine's list of America's "Most Eligible Bachelors" was acquitted Wednesday of raping a 19-year-old woman.

It was the second time this year that Gary Zerola, 36, was acquitted of charges related to sexual assault. In January, the former prosecutor was acquitted of attempted rape and other charges involving allegations by another 19-year-old woman in 2006.

Zerola still faces a charge in Florida, where he is accused of raping an 18-year-old woman at a Miami Beach hotel in October. He has pleaded not guilty.

Zerola mouthed "thank you" to the jurors as they filed past him Wednesday.

"I have faith in God, and I have faith in our system of justice," he told the Boston Herald. "Today is a victory for all those people who are falsely accused."

The woman who brought the charges against him and her family cried upon hearing the verdict and left court without commenting.

Zerola's lawyer, Janice Bassil, claimed in court that his accuser was a liar and a party girl, the Herald reported. She used a similar defense in the prior case. Bassil did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

Zerola was named on the bachelor list in 2001 because of his good looks and his work with foster children.

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