HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — A Dothan man found guilty in June of 2021 of the rape in 2018 of a teenager has been denied a re-trial by the Alabama Court of Appeals.

Emiliano Rodriguez and his attorney had stated that having to wear a COVID mask during his testimony, prevented the jury from seeing his full facial expression and that his trial was unfair. But the appeals court did not agree.

Two appellate court members voted in favor of Rodriguez and thought the verdict should be overturned, but the other three judges voted in favor of the original court decision. This 3-2 decision means that his appeal is denied.

Rodriguez is currently serving a 17-year prison sentence.