An emotional, chaotic jury has failed to reach decisions on many of the counts against Josh Carrier, a former cop accused of touching middle school boys and possessing child pornography.
Carrier were in court to hear the verdicts, along with members of his family and the families of his accusers.
Several members of the jury began to cry as the 139 verdict forms were read. The jury found Carrier guilty of 21 counts of sexual exploitation. That's for the child pornography found on his computer. They found him not guilty of 36 counts of touching the boys. That left 150 counts still undecided.
On the first read through, the guilty decisions included one count of unlawful sexual contact and 21 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. When the judge polled the jurors about the unlawful sexual contact count, however, one juror announced that she had changed her mind.
With that, the judge sent the jury back to continue deliberations. After a few minutes, the jury returned to the courtroom and added that disputed count to the list of undecided charges.
Upset parents were allowed to speak after the jury was dismissed. One mother said that Carrier should be in jail and that her children need some justice.
The prosecution asked for Carrier to be taken into custody for the charges on which he was found guilty. The Defense, however, argued that Carrier is not a flight risk.
The judge sided with the prosecution, ruling that Carrier's bond would be revoked. District Attorney Dan May has also announced that his office will bring the undecided counts back for prosecution in a second trial.
Carrier's family declined to comment after leaving the courthouse.
After everyone was dismissed, the jury foreman spoke. "There were many of us who said guilty. There were typically two that didn't say guilty on the assault charges," she said.
We spoke with a former prosecutor. "You never know what is going to happen with a jury... its kind of a crap shoot. You have to try and get 12 people to agree on all issues," said David Webster of Jaray Webster law firm.
District Attorney Dan May says he met with the jury after the verdict. He asked them what needs to change for prosecutors to get a conviction from the next jury.
Webster says the D.A. has a better chance of winning the second time around because they know what evidence to focus on.
Carrier's attorneys said a verdict is a verdict.
"They obivously found him not guilty on some serious charges and couldnt decide on a number of others. I think its important for the jury...I mean for the community to accept the jury's decision," said Josh Tolini, Carrier's defense attorney.
Carrier will be back in court in two weeks to talk about when the next trial will happen.
Jurors tasked with deciding the guilt or innocence of a former police officer told the court Monday morning that they’d reached unanimous verdicts on several of the 207 counts. On others, however, the jury says they’ve been unable to reach a unanimous decision.
Josh Carrier, 31, is on trial for allegedly touching more than 20 children inappropriately while he was a volunteer wrestling coach at Horace Mann Middle School. Carrier faces charges related to those alleged sexual assaults and the possession of child pornography. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Defense Attorney Christopher Decker tells KKTV 11 News that the judge instructed the jurors to continue deliberating on those remaining counts. The judge also told the jurors to stay true to their beliefs.
If they try again but decide they cannot reach verdicts on some counts, prosecutors could bring those counts to trial once again.
The counts against Carrier include:
44 counts of sexual assault by a person in a position of trust
13 counts of sexual assault by a person in a position of trust / pattern of abuse
44 counts of sexual assault on a child
12 counts of sexual assault on a child / pattern of abuse
27 counts of unlawful sexual contact
31 counts of enticement of a child
35 counts of sexual exploitation of a child
1 count of sexual assault
The jury began deliberating last Tuesday. During that time they’ve asked several questions, including what to do if a juror wants to quit. After that question, the defense asked for a mistrial. The judge refused and instead instructed the jurors to continue working.
During the trial, defense witnesses included Carrier’s father and several expert witnesses, including a forensic psychologist.
The forensic psychologist, Dr. Philip Esplin, told the court he had concerns about the taped interviews with Carrier’s accusers. He said he watched two of the interviews and saw the interviewer share her opinions. This testimony related to the defense’s concerns about the way some of the children were interviewed.
Attorneys representing Carrier argued that many of the allegations against him surfaced after he was arrested.
The prosecution's witnesses consisted of the alleged victims, parents, and school employees. Many of those people told similar stories on the stand about how Carrier told the boys to strip down to their underwear or less for wrestling weigh-ins or medical examinations.
One boy testified, for example, that he was touched by Carrier four times. Three of those were during weigh-ins for the wrestling team and another was a drug strip search. He also said that he was teased at school about being molested by Carrier.
Another boy said Carrier told him he might have a rash on his back that he needed to compare with a dermatology book. The boy testified that Carrier went beyond searching his back, reportedly telling him to strip before checking his genital area.
Some of the boys have also testified that they defended Carrier, believing the whole case was a mistake, until investigators presented them with photos of themselves. The photos showed the children either nude or in the process of undressing and police believe they were taken by Carrier.
The Horace Mann Middle School head wrestling coach, John Popovich, testified that Carrier said he believed some of the boys had ringworm. He said Carrier used a medical book to check the boys, but never should have touched the boys’ genitals.
A school security officer testified Tuesday about being in the room when Carrier inappropriately "searched" some young boys. Nicholas Graham told the jury that he helped pull students out of class for skin checks, but said he didn't play close attention to what happened. Graham testified that he knew Carrier asked the children to strip and sometimes touched the boys' genitals.
Both Graham and assistant principal Ken Potman have testified that they trusted Carrier because he was a police officer.
While the prosecution was presenting their case, one of the jurors was ordered to be removed from the case because of a Facebook post. The juror was replaced by one of the four alternates on hand.
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