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STATE OF MINNESOTA V. C.L. (ACQUITTAL) DECEMBER 2013

C.L. went to a wrestling tournament in Rochester Minnesota. He and other parents went to the bar and the kids went to one room. At bar close C.L. went to the room to collect his 10 year old son. In doing so he stumbled around in a dark room. There were eight other people in the room. C.L. sees what he believes to be his son lying on a bed in the living room of the suite under a blanket. He felt arount and to his surprise it was a 14 year old girl who yelled at him. He then left. The girl made a claim of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

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At trial the Bruce Rivers presented a very pursuasive case that this was a teen-aged drama queen who should not be believed. While the State failed to properly investigate the case the Defense investigation revealed no only the abject inconsistencies in the girl's story but uncovered witnesses that the state tried to hide. These witnesses were other high school children in the room who contradicted the drama queen. A jury acquitted C.L. after two hours of deliberation and some fried chicken.

I make light of the jury's meal because the verdict came back right after they ate. However the seriousness of the case cannot be lost. There was no physical evidence. A prosecutor simply believed this girl regardless of how incredible her story was. This especially in light of other independent withnesses that the State had no intention of disclosing. Had the Defense not properly investigated the case and prepared for trial, C.L. could have been labeled a sex offender and suffered all of the ills that go along with it. As it was, the defense prevailed and protected C.L. from an unjust and unwarranted prosecution.

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