It took a jury about eleven hours to deliver two verdicts of not guilty in the sexual assault trial of Fred Whitesides. Whitesides a former Hall County corrections officer was accused by a former female inmate of sexual assault. The victim claimed the sexual advances happened twice between November and December of 2001.
The trial lasted four days, three days of testimony before the jury was handed the case Thursday morning. The jury deliberated Thursday til five o'clock and reconvened Friday morning. Around three p.m. Friday the jury returned with a verdict.
As the verdicts were being read there were several sighs of relief from supporters of Whitesides sitting in the courtroom.
Whitesides who lost his job says that's not all he lost, "tell me what room I can go to get my reputation back and what courtroom I can find to get two years of my life back."
A juror in the case says there just wasn't enough evidence for them to find Whitesides guilty without any reasonable doubt. The prosecutor in the case Michelle Oldham, Hall County deputy attorney says sexual assault cases are hard to prosecute and even more so when your victim and witnesses are people who inmates. However, Oldham says it doesn't matter what position in society a person is a victim is a victim and it's her job to prosecute those who break the law.
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