Criminal Charge: Indecency with a Child by Contact
Case: State v. Acquitted Defendant [F13-xxxxx] [Dallas County]
Result: Not Guilty Verdict
Summary: In this classic case of a child seeking attention during her parents’ divorce, Haslam and iconic Dallas trial lawyer Frank Jackson tried this felony to a jury in the summer of 2016. The defendant – whose name is omitted here because a jury acquitted him – was charged with illegally touching a granddaughter twice during family gatherings. The jury took only an hour to acquit him after a three day trial.
The early teenage granddaughter actually admitted to a Dallas County District Attorney prosecutor two weeks before trial that she was “uncertain” her allegations had occurred. While the prosecutor informed the defense of the admission, she didn’t inform the so-called expert who testified for the prosecution that the granddaughter exhibited many behaviors consistent with a sexual assault victim. On cross examination, this “expert”, a woman with a college degree who routinely “testifies” for the Dallas County District Attorney, admitted the child should have been interviewed by her organization, the Dallas County Child Advocacy Center, after the admission because this kind of recantation is inconsistent with actual sexual assault. She further admitted that had she been made aware of this admission by the granddaughter, she would have told the prosecutor the young woman should be re-interviewed.
The case is just one more illustration of the reality that prosecutors can lose their commitment to truth in the blind devotion to career advancement. And an illustration of the value of experienced trial counsel.