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Man beaten at Charlottesville rally found not guilty of assault

DeAndre Harris, second from right, enters the Charlottesville District Court ahead of his trial on Friday, March 16, 2018, in Charlottesville, Va. Harris, who was severely beaten the day of a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville and then charged with misdemeanor assault in the same incident was found not guilty Friday. A Charlottesville judge acquitted Harris, saying it was clear he didn’t intend to harm the leader of a Southern nationalist group who made a complaint against him. (Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) - A man beaten at the violent Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville has been found not guilty of assault.

DeAndre Harris, 20, was charged with misdemeanor assault in connection to the violent rally on August 12.

A Charlottesville judge acquitted Harris, saying it was clear Harris didn’t intend to harm the leader of a Southern nationalist group who made a complaint against him.

Images and video of Harris being attacked during the rally went viral.

"I don’t see that Mr. Harris did anything wrong that day," Judge Robert Downer said, according to The Daily Progress . "It’s all on tape for me to see."

Harris’ attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said in October that Harris was left with a concussion, abrasions and contusions across his body, as well as a head laceration that required staples, a knee injury and a fractured wrist after the clash.

He appeared in court Friday, according to WCAV, and was found not guilty.

Harold Crews, North Carolina chairman of the League of the South — which advocates for Southern states to again secede from the union — sought the charge against Harris. Harris turned himself in after a warrant was issued in October.

Harris took the stand Friday and testified that he thought Crews was attacking a friend of his with a flag pole and went over to defend him.

Then he said someone sprayed him with mace and “everything was a blur after that,” the newspaper reported.

Joseph Platania, the Charlottesville commonwealth’s attorney, said in a statement Friday that his office “appreciates the Court’s careful review and consideration of the evidence in this case and respects the decision made by Judge Downer.”

Four men, Daniel Borden, Alex Ramos, Tyler Davis, and Jacob Goodwin have been charged in connection with beating Harris on August 12.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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