While both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases Friday against Samuel Kase White, an ex-CSU human resources worker accused of multiple counts of sexual assault and burglary, legal fireworks continued when the jury exited the courtroom.
On Friday, the prosecution finished with the testimony of their last witness, lead investigator Kevin Cronin of Fort Collins Police Services, and rested their case. While the jury was in a short recess, public defender Norm Townsend moved to have White acquitted of all charges, specifically four charges of sexual assault against two victims.
Townsend said the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof to pursue a conviction and that the victims were capable of evaluating their situation.
When asked if the victims knew if they were capable of appraising their situation, Townsend said, “I know they were.”
In a heated back-and-forth with the defense, prosecutor Emily Humphrey countered that the victims were “vulnerable” and incapable of consent.
“You can’t grab first and ask later,” Humphrey said.
Townsend did not argue against whether the defendant was in the victims’ homes or the DNA evidence that indicates White’s presence, but said that the victims chose to have a consensual sexual encounter.
Judge Terence Gilmore denied the motion for acquittal but agreed with both sides saying that it was a “close issue” with “difficult and confusing” legal language and would later rule on the subject again.
White, who was arrested in December 2007, declined to testify, allowing the jury to return to the courtroom. The defense immediately rested their case, saying the jury “had heard enough.”
The jury was released for the weekend giving the attorneys for the prosecution and defense time with the judge to determine jury instructions. These instructions will be read to the jury before they deliberate on the case.
Each side anticipated that their closing arguments would take at least an hour. The trial will continue 9 a.m. Monday.
Crime Beat Reporter Stephen Lin can be reached at email@example.com.