(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 2:31 PM
A man accused of molesting two family members more than two decades ago was found not guilty on both counts Thursday in state district court.
A six-person jury returned unanimous verdicts on two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile brought against Robert Jean Faulk Sr., 63.
Authorities alleged the events happened between January 1980 and April 1990, while the girls were under 18.
After the verdict was read, one of the alleged victims wept hysterically in the courtroom.
“I just want to commend the jury,” defense attorney Todd Clemons said. “It takes courage. It takes courage to stand up to the district attorney and to the state and tell them that this case was very weak and they didn’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“It’s obviously disappointing, but we knew going in with a case that happened in the ’80s ... it was going to be a tough case,” prosecutor David Kimball said. “We certainly respect the jury’s verdict.”
Faulk admitted in an interview with detectives, shown in court, that he had molested the two girls. He also admitted in the video to touching two other girls, but both of them said in court Thursday that he had not molested them, Clemons said.
He called Faulk “gullible.”
“I made the decision that I wanted the entire interview to play because it was crucial to show the jury that he admitted to things we know he didn’t do,” Clemons said.
“It was important to show the jury that this man repeatedly, repeatedly denied the allegations, and eventually he caved in under the pressure and said, ‘If you say I did it, I did it,’ and so he admitted to things he did not do.”
In closing arguments, Kimball said that one girl’s father had confronted Faulk, but that Faulk claimed it was an accident. The incident was never reported to police, Kimball said.
In addition to touching, Faulk also peeked in while one of the victims was changing and bathing and exposed himself, Kimball said. “Give them their day in court,” Kimball requested of the jury.
Clemons questioned the integrity of the women and of the detectives. He said one of the women said police had been called in the 1980s, but they hadn’t. The other said Faulk molested her every other day for 10 years, yet no one else knew about it, Clemons said.
Detective Elizabeth Zaunbrecher testified that she conducted a recorded interview with one of the women, but the equipment malfunctioned. Clemons asked why she had not taken notes or re-interviewed the women.
“You can’t get proof beyond reasonable doubt,” he told the jury.
Kimball said that had the video survived, it would not have been admissible in court.