Charges lowered for Logan County man initially accused of rape

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LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. - A Logan County man who was accused of raping a teenager was initially facing serious charges.

Now those charges have been dramatically reduced.

Mark Shawn Couch was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl.

Court records show the teenager told investigators after being intoxicated and passing out, she woke up the next day wearing different underwear.

When the girl asked Couch what happened, he said he changed her clothes because she had vomited and urinated on herself.

When the teenager was using Couch's computer a few weeks later, she says she discovered graphic pictures of her private area and breasts fully exposed.

Officials say the photos also showed Couch's "short stubby fingers inside her."

Couch was arrested and charged with rape by instrumentation, child pornography, and violating the computer crimes act.

Right before trial was set to begin, the charges were drastically changed.

The rape charge was lowered to enabling child abuse and the child pornography charge was lowered to taking clandestine photos.  The computer crimes count was dismissed altogether.

Couch was sentenced to one year in county jail.

With the rape charge gone, he does not have to register as a sex offender.

Irvin Box, Mark Couch's attorney said, "The district attorney and I came to an agreement that the charges should be what they were and what he plead to as opposed to what the original charges were."

Box claims the teenager's allegations did not hold up.

Box said, "There are some graphic things, statements put in the affidavit.  I think when we finally got down to it, the evidence wasn't going to show all of that."

Now folks in Guthrie are questioning whether a dangerous man got off simply because he had a good attorney.

NewsChannel 4 contacted the Logan County District Attorney's Office to find out why those serious initial charges were lowered so severely.  However, we still have no heard back from them.

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