Last week, in the Dayton Municipal Court, Montgomery County, Ohio, J.R. Bernans secured a not guilty verdict for his client in his first solo jury trial.
Mr. Bernans’ client was charged with public indecency, a sex offense, and a misdemeanor of the fourth degree under Ohio Revised Code §2907.09. The accusation was that Mr. Bernans’ client exposed himself in a treatment center in front of a female teacher and fellow classmates. The accuser was the client’s teacher, a young female, and a superior of the client. During the trial, the jury knew the dynamic between teacher and student and that the client was in the facility for substance abuse treatment. In total, the State of Ohio called an additional staff member from the facility, a Dayton Police Officer, and a fellow classmate that was in the room at the time of the allegation.
During the trial, Mr. Bernans was able to present the jury with the staff members’ bias and dislike of the client, along with their desire to see the client removed from the facility. Further, the accuser admitted on the stand that she has had triggering experiences prior, and perhaps that factored into her allegation against the client. Mr. Bernans successfully cross-examined the lead officer involved to show alarming deficiencies in the investigation. Law enforcement admitted that they did not watch the very security camera footage of the class and failed to investigate legitimate claims of the client having a severe medical issue that caused the client to scratch that region of his body so significantly. In the client’s defense, Mr. Bernans called the physician who treated his client to testify to the legitimate, and severe medical condition that went misdiagnosed and ignored by law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office.
At the end of the trial, the jury deliberated for a mere forty-five minutes. They arrived at a not guilty verdict and cleared the client’s name after an eight-month battle with the prosecutor’s office. If convicted, the client risked losing his job and ability to provide for his family. There were no plea offers by the prosecution and Mr. Bernans and his client had no choice but to go to trial. Through investigation and analysis of the medical data, Mr. Bernans believed in his client’s innocence and justice prevailed in the end.
We here at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima always strive to do everything we can for our clients. Unlike other law firms, our criminal team does not sit back and wait for trial or simply ask for a lesser charge deal from the prosecutor. We conduct our own, independent investigations and attack every case with our full repertoire of resources. We have experience all over southwest Ohio and will exhaust all options in securing the best outcome for you. If you are charged with a crime and have questions or need representation, please give us a call. Our consultations are free, and a member of our criminal team will sit down with you and explain next steps, a plan of attack, and how to best navigate your case. Our phones are open twenty-four hours a day and our number is 513-496-0134.