A Whitley Circuit Court jury only needed about 30 minutes last week to acquit a Williamsburg man on charges of sodomy.
Jurors began their deliberations during the two-day trial of Joshua West, 25, about 1:35 p.m. on April 5, and returned a verdict of not guilty about 2:03 p.m. to two counts of first-degree sodomy, according to court documents. Jurors could have convicted West of a lesser offense of first-degree sexual abuse in connection with one of the counts, but opted not to do so.
West was originally indicted in the case on May 19, 2014.
He was accused of twice having deviate sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 12 during the summer of 2010.
The trial began on April 4 in Whitley Circuit Court with special judge Todd Spaulding presiding.
Prosecutors called a total of three witnesses during the trial, including the alleged victim and Williamsburg Police Detective Bobby Freeman.
During the trial, prosecutors were allowed to present evidence concerning two similar allegations that involved the same alleged victim and West that allegedly occurred in Indiana at approximately the same time as the allegations in this case, according to court records.
However, jurors were instructed via the jury instructions that West was not on trial for any allegations committed in Indiana.
“Furthermore, these allegations in Indiana shall not be considered by you as substantive proof that the defendant is guilty of the charges in this indictment and shall only be considered for corroboration purposes,” the jury instructions read.
Spaulding declined a request by the prosecution at the start of the trial to delay it because a witness was in the state of Florida on a baseball trip. The witness had not been subpoenaed to court, according to a court document.
The defense called a total of four witnesses, including the alleged victim. West took the stand to testify on his own behalf. He was represented by attorney Brandon West.