Anderson wins trial for client accused of sexual abuse
Attorney Neil Anderson won a trial Dec. 9 for a client charged with five sex offenses stemming from recent accusations he abused his half sister years ago.
The trial began Dec. 6 in Clark County Superior Court. Anderson was assisted at trial by attorney Ricky Tucker.
The 12-person jury deliberated about two hours before unanimously agreeing to acquit the client on all charges: one count of rape of a child in the first degree and four counts of child molestation in the first degree.
The charges were based on allegations, made in December 2019, that the client abused his half sister multiple times in 2014.
A conviction would have carried a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The client, 30, spent 1 1/2 years in Clark County Jail awaiting trial. His bail was set at $35,000 when he made his first appearance in court in June 2020 and a judge repeatedly denied Anderson’s requests to lower bail. Anderson had argued his client was not a flight risk, had no criminal history and he was being denied his right to a speedy trial because trials were put on hold for months due to the pandemic.
This was the second time prosecutors tried the case. The first trial, in November, was declared a mistrial. Anderson successfully objected several times while the deputy prosecutor was questioning the alleged victim, because the deputy prosecutor kept referencing statements the jury was not supposed to hear. Eventually Anderson made a motion for a mistrial, arguing the deputy prosecutor had tainted the jury by mentioning so many statements that the judge, in pre-trial motions, had ruled inadmissible. The judge agreed.
The deputy prosecutor stayed on the case and had to be warned this week by the judge about improperly discussing facts of the case while questioning potential jurors.
During closing arguments Anderson highlighted how many inconsistencies there were in the testimony from the alleged victim. She gave different answers about when and where the alleged abuse occurred and contradicted earlier statements, Anderson said.
Anderson also told jurors the alleged victim’s mother, who set this case in motion by asking her daughter if she had been abused by her half brother, had a pattern of thinking every male was a predator. When he cross-examined the alleged victim on the witness stand, she confirmed her mother always thought the fathers of her friends were predators and her paranoia even caused the end of one of her friendships.
All parents are protective, Anderson said, but perhaps this mother went too far.
Anderson used a metaphor suggested by Tucker: When one lie comes out, it’s like dropping a plate that shatters. You piece it back together but it won’t be the same plate. You can’t take back a lie, you have to run with it and make it a bigger lie.