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US officer acquitted in beating of Chinese tourist
Updated: 2005-09-09 11:21

Zhao, who testified during the trial and is pursuing a $10 million lawsuit against the U.S. government, was not in the courtroom for the verdict. An attorney representing her in the civil case said Thursday's verdict would have no impact on the lawsuit.

Zhao Yan, a Chinese businesswoman, was pictured after being beaten by a US Homeland Security officer at the US-Canada border in July 2004. [newsphoto/file]
"It's always difficult to convict any officer of the law in this kind of case," Stanley Legan said.

He said the standards of proof are different in civil cases and suggested the jurors in the criminal case may have been influenced by the tense atmosphere after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"I think her injuries clearly demonstrate that excessive force was used," Legan said.

Cohen said he believed the jury was swayed by the testimony of two of Rhodes' fellow border officers who took the stand against him.

Although both were critical of the level of force Rhodes used, they indicated Zhao was resisting arrest. Rhodes could have faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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