In July 2014, Mr. Armstrong conducted a child molestation trial in Vista, California. The client, a Navy corpsman who had been in the service for fourteen years, was charged with several counts of molesting his niece on two different dates. Additionally, the niece's sister was also allowed to testify under a Penal Code section that allows for any prior sexual misconduct of the defendant to be brought before the jury in order to allow the jury to determine if the defendant has a sexual interest in children.
The sister's story changed dramatically at trial (from her previous statements to law-enforcement), and the jury determined that her story was not credible. However, the niece's story was fairly consistent at trial. She testified that her uncle (the defendant) had molested her on two different occasions while on his love seat at his residence.
Amazingly, the judge allowed Mr. Armstrong to bring into the courtroom the actual love seat (instead of a photo or video of it). The judge also allowed an assistant to "test" the footrest spring on the love seat in front of the jury, as the defense theory was that the defendant's wife would have heard the footrest make a loud sound when the niece activated it. Another defense theory was that the defendant could not have pushed the back of the love seat headrest down in the manner that the niece said he did.
After two days of deliberations, the jury announced that it was hung 9-3 for not-guilty. The judge refused to dismiss the case, and the D.A.'s Office announced that it would re-try the defendant. However, after some jury misconduct was uncovered by Mr. Armstrong, the D.A.'s Office decided to dismiss the entire case against the defendant before the second trial. The dismissal was especially satisfying because the client's Navy career was saved, and because his special-needs son was in severe danger of having his medical insurance cut off if his father got convicted.
To learn how the San Diego sex crime lawyers at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC can defend you or a loved one against serious criminal charges, contact us today.