The trial of a local man ended in a “not guilty” verdict Wednesday at the county courthouse. In a unanimous decision by the 7 man, 5 women jury, the man accused of “sexual assault of a child under the age of 17” was released immediately following the reading of the verdict. The accused man wasted no time in exiting the courthouse.
Jurors, when asked what made them decide on the “not guilty” verdict, stated that they could not see “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he had done what he was accused of. Although the state presented what they felt to be irrefutable DNA evidence against the accused, jurors said it was not enough to prove his guilt.
The alleged incident occurred in the early morning hours of January 22, 2013 in the home of the (then) 16 year old girl. Jurors listened to the testimonies of both the accused and the alleged victim, as well as her mother, the Medical Examiner and the DNA specialist that did the testing. “There were just too many things about the DNA evidence that were not answered sufficiently” commented one juror as he left the courtroom.
In the opening of the trial Tuesday, one juror fell ill after hearing the testimony of the girl involved. It was believed that the temperature of the room was the reason for the illness. After a brief recess, the trial resumed.
When asked afterwards if the verdict was what she had expected, Heather Kramer, Forensic Biologist, stated “I have learned not to set expectations. The jury did what they were chosen to do.”