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Groom Convicted Of Trying To Sexually Assault Bridesmaid Days Before His Wedding

“I wanted to apologize again for everything,” Daniel Carney texted the bridesmaid on the day of his wedding after trying to sexually assault her days earlier. “Can we please just be as happy as possible for [the bride] today?"

By Jill Sederstrom
Empty Courtroom G

A Pennsylvania groom has been convicted of attempting to sexually assault his wife’s bridesmaid just days before their 2019 wedding.

Daniel Carney, 30, was found guilty Thursday on four out of  the five charges he was facing in a Monroe County courtroom including attempted sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, simple assault and indecent assault without the consent of others, according to WFMZ.

He was found not guilty of the fifth charge: attempt to rape an unconscious victim.

Authorities said Carney attempted to sexually assault a 29-year-old bridesmaid in the couple’s wedding after a float trip for members of the bridal party down the Delaware River on Aug. 30, 2019, according to The Morning Call.

There had been heavy drinking on the trip and the bridesmaid had become heavily intoxicated, according to an affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.

After the float trip ended, Carney’s now wife—who would later testify on his behalf during the trial—asked Carney to walk the woman to the parking lot.

The woman told police she remembered being led away from the water around 8 p.m.. The next thing she knew she woke up in a locker room at the Shawnee Inn, according to the compliant. She said Carney was biting her and forcefully grabbing her. She blacked out again before waking up a second time to find her bikini bottoms were off and Carney was on top of her.

Carney’s wife and the maid-of-honor in the wedding discovered the pair together in the shower of the locker room.

The woman, who was seen struggling to stand on surveillance footage after the encounter, said she remembered the bride screaming at the groom.

Prosecutors said during the trial that the first thing the woman said to the maid-of-honor after being found in the locker room was “What happened?” WFMZ reports.

The morning after the wedding the bridesmaid went to the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono to report the assault.

Carney initially told police he “felt like he was taken advantage of by the victim" and said she had been coming onto him. 

However, investigators uncovered security footage that showed the woman walking very unsteadily down the hall before Carney pulled her into a locker room. He later admitted to authorities that he had been the one to pull her inside the locker room.

On the stand during the trial, Carney testified that he had gone into the room because he wanted to take a shower and said the woman had followed him into the locker room, WNEP reports. He insisted their encounter had been consensual. 

After the incident, the bridesmaid told authorities that Carney called her the next day to apologize, claiming he didn’t know what happened. 

He apologized a second time in a text message he sent to her on the day of the wedding.

“I wanted to apologize again for everything,” he wrote, according to the affidavit. “Can we please just be as happy as possible for [the bride] today? Mistakes are behind us and I just need total closure before I do this [that is] why I’m sending this. I’m as happy was ever to marry [the bride] and I know this is terrible as well but my d--- was out in the shower.”

While he insisted they “never did do it” he asked the woman to take a Plan B pill to be sure.

“Please tell me yes I’m begging you,” he wrote.

Carney’s defense attorney James Swetz had argued that the other witness testimony—including that from his own wife—showed that the woman was conscious and aware of her actions at the time of the encounter, according to reports from WNEP and The Daily Mail.

Swetz added that “blackouts are not the same as being unconscious.”

Yet, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Christy Schlottman argued the woman was too drunk to consent and said she spent the next several days after the incident trying to find out what happened.

After the verdict was handed down, Schlottman said in a statement to Oxygen.com that they were pleased with the result.

"My goal was to seek justice for the victim," she said. "We are happy that victim had a voice and the jury heard it. We are also hopeful that victims of sexual assault or domestic violence will be encouraged to come forward and participate in the criminal process following this result." 

Carney is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26.

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