NORWICH – After hearing the testimony of four witnesses, Judge Kevin M. Dowd immediately returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of a Preston man accused of a molesting a 3-year-old.
Douglas W. Jones was found not guilty of the two counts against him: felony first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
In his opening remarks during the four and a half hour bench trial in Chenango County Supreme Court Wednesday, Defense Attorney Frank B. Revoir Jr. told the judge, “This entire case is one woman saying ‘I saw this.’ The whole family was there in the room when the alleged incident took place and it’s just absurd that a man could be brought to trial for this.”
By the end of the trial, Dowd agreed and after first hearing First Assistant District Attorney Stephen M. Dunshee present the prosecution’s arguments, he delivered his verdict within moments of hearing the defense rest.
“Let me just say I totally disagree with your assessment of the evidence, Mr. Dunshee. I have sat here and listened to this. It’s been a short trial. This is scary. This is very, very scary to me, that this has gotten this far,” said the judge. “I don’t think this is a close case. I think there’s been a total failure of proof relative to the sex abuse first degree. I find him not guilty on that. I find a total failure of proof on endangering the welfare of a child, and I find you (Jones) not guilty on that.”