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Another Not Guilty: Client Falsely Accused of Indecency with Child Acquitted After Trial by Jury

13th October 2009
By Media Masters in Legal
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Every prospective juror summoned to court for jury duty in a criminal case is questioned by counsel for the State and defendant as to his/her willingness to follow the law as given by the judge at the conclusion of the trial. A prospective juror who cannot, for whatever reason, state unequivocally that he/she will follow the law is excused for cause. Thus, a juror accepted by both the defense and the State for jury service has a solemn duty bound by a sworn oath to follow the law.

Myself, and Co-counsel Christopher Carlson, recently faced the dilemma of a recalcitrant juror who decided several hours into jury deliberations that she no longer wanted to participate in the proceedings. We were trying a particularly difficult indecency with a child case based on the allegation by a thirteen year old girl who charged that our client had inappropriately touched her during a recreational outing. The teenager had been sent to stay at our client's residence while her mother recuperated from a serious illness. After her father picked her up at the residence, and as they drove home, the teenager reportedly told her father that our client had touched her inappropriately during her weekend stay at his residence. The father conveyed this information to his wife and together they contacted the police.

This case from the very beginning was a classic "he said, she said" case. It did not matter to law enforcement that our client was a law-abiding citizen with impeccable community credentials, who was known to be a decent, caring family man.

Unfortunately, Texas law is quite clear that the testimony of a child alone in a sex case is sufficient to support a criminal conviction. 1/ In fact, the statement the 13-year-old made to law enforcement, standing alone, was sufficient legal evidence to support a criminal conviction against our client. 2/ The State need not proffer medical evidence, forensic evidence, or corroborating testimony to support the victim's testimony. "She said" evidence is all that is needed to not only bring about a criminal indictment but a conviction as well.

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About the Author
Occupation: Media Consulting Company
Media Masters is a Houston based firm that creates strategic communication plans for attorneys and law firms. At Media Masters we specialize in legal public relations, reputation branding, law firm marketing, litigation communications and on-camera media and deposition training.
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