Man walks on teen sex charges

A GRANVILLE man accused of raping and acting indecently towards two girls under 16 years of age walked from the Maryborough District Court yesterday after being found not guilty on two of three charges against him.

The jury spent almost seven hours yesterday deliberating over the third charge, an accusation the 37-year-old kissed a 12-year-old girl in a game of “truth or dare” between June 30 and August 3.

The jury had already sent a note on Wednesday evening which indicated jurors had decided on the other two charges, where the man was accused of performing oral sex on the girl and another minor who was 13.

Yesterday afternoon the court learned what decision the jury had made on these charges, when the defendant was found not guilty.

The final, undecided charge was adjourned until July 25.

Judge Hugh Botting told jurors in his summation on Wednesday that they must be careful not to be swayed by any emotions of anger or revulsion for the general issue of sexual acts against children, and instead judge the merits of the case on its own.

“This is a court of law, not a court of morals,” Judge Botting told the jury.

He said such serious charges could have serious consequences on the life of the accused and said that in light of inconsistencies in witness testimony for the prosecution he felt it would be “dangerous to convict the accused”.

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