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Jury deliberating in Fairchild contractor’s rape case

An 11-man, one-woman jury this morning will begin deliberating the rape case of a civilian contractor at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Sharon Hedlund and defense attorney Christian Phelps finished their closing arguments about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen said the jury will begin deliberations at 9:30 a.m. today in the case of Michael W. Fassbender, 32, who faces three counts of first-degree rape.

Hedlund and Phelps both asked the jury to decide who was telling the truth about the Oct. 19 encounter, in which Fassbender took a woman he’d just met over the Internet on a tour of secure facilities at Fairchild’s Survivor School. The woman said she told Fassbender “no,” but he testified that she invited him to perform rough sex.

Fassbender is on leave from his job as an instructor for SERE Solutions, which trains military personnel how to withstand interrogation and escape capture.