Thursday, April 15, 2010

Man found not guilty in sex abuse trial

A Pocomoke City man has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl after a judge said the victim's story wasn't consistent enough to clear legal hurdles.

After four hours of testimony, Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Theodore Eschenburg declared Roy Reed not guilty of the five assault and sexual offense charges he faced.

"I don't know what happened to her -- something probably did happen -- but you don't put someone in jail on a probability," Eschenburg said. "I just cannot send him to jail and find him guilty based on the evidence presented."

Reed, 40, was accused of sexually assaulting the then-six-year-old in the summer of 2008.

According to the girl's testimony, she told the judge that it hurt, but she "didn't cry or scream."

About a year later, the girl mentioned the incident to a social worker for the Worcester County Department of Social Services who was investigating accusations the girl had been sexually assaulted in a separate incident.

When one key interview took place at the Child Advocacy Center in Berlin, the conversation wasn't recorded. In court Wednesday, prosecutors showed a tape of another session in which the social worker asked the victim to repeat the story.

Public defender Burton Anderson elicited testimony showing that in one of the multiple interviews, the girl said Reed touched her with his fingers, a detail that diverged from her other accounts of the abuse.

Assistant State's Attorney for Worcester County Diane Cuilhe argued that regardless of which body part Reed touched the girl with, it would still amount to sexual assault.

However, Eschenburg said the testimony provided did not prove Reed's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the judge denied a motion for acquittal, he said he had little option but to find Reed not guilty.


I hate to say I told ya so but.........................


Anonymous said...

Oh Wow, NOT GUILTY, not even nol pros or a plea deal, just a flat out not guilty pronouncement by Judge Eschenburg.
Can't wait to hear what spin B & S from the Tat will put on this one!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the prosecutor and the investigating police should have done a better job in getting the evidence.