March 7th, 2007

Sweetness

GUILTY!!!

Simpson found GUILTY to one count sexual assault
Christine Kern, Marlin Democrat

"Has the jury reached a verdict?"

"Yes your honor."

"Proceed."

"We the jury find Al Simpson guilty on one count sexual assault."

A day long trial of Al Simpson, 36, of Marlin, concluded with those words, letting the victim, 15 at the time of the sexual assault, and her family breath a sigh of relief.

Although the star witness, the victim, ended up refusing to testify, her mother, who had witnessed one of the numerous encounters, became the strongest witness. Her mother testified that she was finishing laundry when she passed by her daughters bedroom and peeked through the cracked door to see Simpson "naked and on top of her" engaging in a sexual act.

Jody Gilliam, District Attorney for Falls County, was calm as her star witness answered general questions but clammed up and became nervous when asked about her sexual encounters with the defendant.

Simpson's attorney, Clyde Chandler, later, in closing arguments, said he rested without calling any witnesses because he wasn't able to question the victim. Simpson did not testify on his behalf, which the jury could not hold against his client, as it was his right under the law.

Although the main witness refused to testify, there were other witnesses that testified that they had heard Simpson say he was having sex with the victim, although she was 15 at the time and he was 35. DA Gilliam reiterated that this was a crime. Under Texas law, a child under 17 can not consent to sex, unless they are married.

Attorney Chandler, in his closing arguments, had argued that there was no "medical evidence" they had had sex during that encounter the mother witnessed, and cast "reasonable doubt." DA Gilliam countered saying there was no way there could be medical evidence since none was taken. She asked the jury to "use your hearts and minds" as they deliberated.

The jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before reaching a verdict.

Sentencing was set for Thursday, March 8 at 9a.m. at the Falls County Courthouse.

Simpson is awaiting trial in another sexual assault case.
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