Turner not guilty on all 34 counts in Wheeling child sexual assault case
WHEELING, W.Va. - Robert Turner has been found not guilty on all 34 charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse in Wheeling by a jury with a unanimous verdict.
There was very little reaction, but a sigh of relief from Turner when the judge read a not-guilty verdict. Turner was accused of sexually assaulting and sexually abusing two girls -- then ages 9 and 11-- for a period of 10 years.
The two alleged victims, now adults, wept as the charges were read and then made an outburst after the 11th charge was read not-guilty. They left the courthouse quite upset.
Turner's defense claimed the accusations were a lie, made up in retaliation after Turner no longer dated their mother.
"No one can corroborate their story, no eyewitnesses, no physical evidence, there are no psychologist, no doctor's reports, nothing," Defense attorney Alex Risovich said. "Except someone saying 10 years ago you did this crime."
Meanwhile, prosecutors say Turner manipulated the girls and threatened them. Police say they didn't tell their mother because she was in a relationship with Turner.
When that relationship ended, and the girls got older, they shared their secret with friends, family and police.
"They were good kids," Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak said. "They still believed in Santa Claus 9, 10,11 years old. They believed in the tooth fairy and the only thing that should have been coming in their room at night was the tooth fairy."
Text messages between one of the alleged victims and Turner were presented in court. Turner didn't admit or deny the allegations then, but he did take the stand on Friday and talked about being a father figure to the girls.
He also addressed finding out about the accusations.
Turner is free and acquitted of all charges.