Katie Kauffman didn’t try and excuse her client’s behavior, which she acknowledged to a Clark County Superior Court jury was incredibly gross.
But his actions – masturbating and getting ejaculate on a woman who was next to him – constituted a misdemeanor, she argued, not a felony.
The 12-member jury unanimously agreed. After deliberating about two hours on April 24, the jury returned a verdict of not-guilty of attempted indecent liberties and guilty of fourth-degree assault.
Her client was also convicted of felony bail jump, which wasn’t a surprise because he missed a mandatory pre-trial court appearance and didn't have a reason for why he missed it.
The fact the jury was even allowed to consider a lesser charge was a win for Kauffman. When she and a deputy prosecuting attorney were arguing about which instructions would be read to the jury before deliberations, she asked Judge Derek Vanderwood to include the lesser offense. The deputy prosecutor objected, but Kauffman convinced Vanderwood the elements of the crime met legal and factual requirements to be considered misdemeanor assault.