posted on September 22, 2011 13:53
A Genesee County Court Jury has found Ronald Smith not guilty of the sexual abuse of a seven year old girl. The jury was never told of Smith’s prior conviction on similar charges.
Jurors deliberated for nearly nine hours, returning their verdict at about 1:15pm.
Smith was charged with three counts of 1st-degree Sexual Abuse. Prosecutors said he inappropriately touched the girl on several occasions between late last year and early this year.
During the trial, the young girl even took the stand herself.
In a videotaped interview with police, Smith admitted he touched the girl, but maintained that it was an accident.
District Attorney Lawrence Friedman talked about the jury’s ignorance of Smith’s past.
"Certainly, in a case like this, if they (the jury) knew his (Smith's) history, it could affect the verdict," Friedman said. "But that's why they are not allowed to know. The jury should not be basing their verdict on what someone has done in the past, they should be basing it on the evidence presented in the current trial.
"Granted, it adds to our frustration when we know the person's history."
Smith will remain in jail. He’s currently serving time for failing to properly register as a sex offender in an unrelated case.
The jury in the latest trial was never told of Smith’s past.