Hung Jury in Assault Case

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A jury has been unable to reach a verdict on any of the sexual assault charges brought against Nicholas Richter.

The trial ended with a hung jury Tuesday afternoon; however, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine told Channel 6 News he will refile the charges.

"The biggest concern that we have, is to put these young people through the process again," said Kleine. "But we will be ready to go, and they have been willing to come forward, and we are willing to proceed with the case."

Richter faced four counts of third degree sexual assault on a child. He was accused of inappropriately touching them over their clothing, at a Ralston Elementary school between 2009 and last year.

The case went to the jury last Friday and deliberations stalled on Tuesday.

"It just means that they are split, we don't usually know exactly what they split is uh, but they couldn't reach a verdict, they couldn't be unanimous, and that is what they need to be to reach a verdict," said Kleine.

A female juror, who did not want to be identified, told reporter Erin Murray that she thought Richter was not guilty during the entire jury deliberations. The woman, who says she is a parent with more than one child, expressed a concern that all the children making allegations were from the same class except for one. This raised the possibility that the children might have influenced each other’s testimony.

The juror says she would have liked to have heard more testimony from the children but was not specific about the exact points on which she wanted more information.

This juror says that she believed that Richter really is just a “touchy” kind of guy, and that she actually did experiments with her own kids. She had the kids sit in her lap to see if there was the possibility of casual contact that might be misconstrued. She felt there was.

The juror also told Channel 6 that she didn’t think the state had proved Richter had made contact with the students for sexual gratification. She added that it did not bother her that Richter chose not to testify on his own behalf.

Bond has been continued in the case, allowing Richter to remain free. Prosecutors have six months to decide if they'll take the case back to trial.


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