Gary Moreland found not guilty on all charges - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Gary Moreland found not guilty on all charges

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

After two hours of deliberations, a jury has found Gary Moreland not guilty on all six counts he was charged with.

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday in the trial of the former athletic director of St. Thomas Aquinas School, accused of a sex crime.

Gary Moreland, 72, was on trial for charges of sexually assaulting a female family member for 15 years.

During closing arguments in the courtroom, the defense attorney for Moreland told the jury that the prosecutor didn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the guilt of his client, and therefore jurors should find him not guilty.

Moreland was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone under the age of 13 and five counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion. The alleged victim says she was assaulted from the ages of five to 20 years old.

Moreland's attorney Matthew Reyes says no other allegations ever surfaced against his client in his 30-plus years of being around children at St. Thomas Aquinas school.

"If there's something at the school, we'd hear about it. Other criminal sexual acts on children are admissible. You folks would hear about every single one of them, if there was even one, none" said Reyes.

Prosecutor Patrick Duggan wrapped up his rebuttal. Duggan said,"She was actually innocent, really innocent. He took away that innocence, now it's time for you (the jury) to take away his presumption of innocence."

His own daughter also testified in Moreland's defense, but prosecutors say he had assaulted the victim for years.

For most of his two-hour long testimony, Moreland denied the abuse and the accusation it went on for 15 years.

The defense attorney called Moreland's daughter, Kelly Ketchum, to the stand in hopes that jurors would believe her. Ketchum denied ever being molested by her father.

That's why Ketchum said she was surprised when several cousins confronted her and her dad during a 2009 family meeting.

Moreland did admit, on the stand, to one inappropriate instance with the same great niece he's on trial for abusing.

But he only took some responsibility.

"She came right up and put her arms around me, held me tight, kissed me on the cheek, and whispered in my ear, 'I'm not wearing any underwear.' ... My left hand came up, and I touched her right breast," said Moreland.

The prosecution said that the alleged victim is extremely courageous coming out to admit to what happened to her for all those years.

But the defense said there is not enough evidence to prove that Moreland is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

That is what the jury decided also.

The video above is footage from the courtroom when the verdict was announced and the reaction that followed.

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