7/7/2022—Trial Recap

Last week, I was in trial for an aggravated sexual assault of a child in San Antonio. The trial lasted all week and I’m happy that the jury made the right decision and found our client not guilty. 

Because COVID caused the courts to be closed down for the last year and a half, it’s been a while since I’ve been in trial. I had two misdemeanor cases that looked like they were going to go to trial the week before, but neither of them did. One client’s case was reset and the other client’s cases were dismissed. I was hoping to have a smaller case to get the feel of the courtroom again. Even without those smaller cases, our preparation for this case helped me to feel confident in our case and comfortable in the courtroom. 

I’ve been working on this case for more than two years and had thought there was a good chance that this case was going to be dismissed without trial. We did what we could to try and persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the case including having my client take a polygraph, which he passed. The alleged victim’s case never added up and I believed my client when he denied the allegations. I felt like a dismissal would have been the right move for the prosecutor, but they decided to proceed with a trial. 

At trial, everything went well. We were more prepared than the state was. I had been working on this case since early 2020 and knew the facts of the case well. The state had several different prosecutors that this case had passed around to. A week before trial, the state gave me notice that they intended to call the dad as an outcry witness. The law requires that they give me more notice than that and we were able to keep that statement out. This was a big win for us.

The state only called four witnesses: the mom, the dad, the alleged victim, and the investigator. The mom and the dad never saw any abuse and had a good impression of my client before the outcry. The investigator did not come off well. He never spoke with the victim. He never found out who was there during the alleged assault. He didn’t speak with all of the people that he knew were there, he never went out to the scene to see if it matched up with the alleged victim’s statement, and he never tried to get a medical exam of the alleged victim even though CPS said it was important. I spoke with the jury after the trial, and they were upset with how lazy the investigator was. 

We called our client’s wife, who was there during the alleged assault, to testify, a witness to testify that our client is a good person, and our client decided to testify. Our client denied all allegations and did great on the stand.

The jury deliberated for about eight hours before finding our client not guilty of both aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. It was the right verdict in this case. The state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client committed any crime.

These are not easy cases for anybody. It’s stressful for the defendant, the jury, the attorneys, and the alleged victim. There is not usually a lot of evidence in these cases, and it can be tough to know what actually happened. The punishment is also severe for these cases. My client was facing life in jail and if he had been paroled out, he would have had to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Thankfully we could show that there was plenty of reasonable doubt in this case and the jury held the state to its burden. 

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Sean Henricksen Law Firm

At the Henricksen Law Firm, we are committed to helping good people who have been charged with criminal offenses. Your situation is unique, and before we develop a strategy, we will hear your individual concerns. Then we work toward the result that solves all of your problems—both now and in the future.

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