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What you need to know for 04/23/2017

Man acquitted of sexually assaulting child in Schenectady

Man acquitted of sexually assaulting child in Schenectady

A man in custody since last summer on charges he sexually assaulted a child was acquitted after tria

A man in custody since last summer on charges he sexually assaulted a child was acquitted after trial Wednesday afternoon and freed, authorities said.

Darius A. Holmes, 27, formerly of Jay Street, was found not guilty on all 11 counts against him by a Schenectady County Court jury. Deliberations lasted about three hours, Holmes’ attorney William Nowak said.

Holmes had been accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the child, who was under the age of 15, over several days last June at his residence. In all, he faced 10 felony counts, nine count of second-degree criminal sexual act and one of second-degree rape.

Nowak said his client consistently maintained his innocence, pushing to trial and rejecting multiple plea offers. At trial, Nowak said, it became apparent that there were other reasons that the allegations were made. Holmes testified in his own defense.

Had he been convicted on just one of the 10 felonies, he would have faced up to seven years in state prison. Multiple convictions could have resulted in consecutive sentences totaling decades.

“There were tears,” Nowak said of his client’s reaction to the verdict. “All I can say is that he’s immensely appreciative.”

“I gave him a hug and told him his life begins again,” he said.

Nowak was assisted during the trial by Nathan Writer, a second-year law student.

The trial began early last week in Schenectady County Court. Deliberations then began and ended Wednesday.

The case was prosecuted by Tracey Brunecz of the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. She could not be reached for comment afterward.

The trial was held in front of visiting Judge Richard Myers, who is based in Essex County.

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