ELIZABETH – A jury found a 34-year-old Elizabeth man not guilty of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl.
Miguel Aleman could have spent 20 years in prison if he had been convicted of the sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest charges that he faced.
The undocumented immigrant from Honduras will still be deported, authorities said.
Members of the jury deliberated for about a day before returning their verdict on March 18. During the trial, Aleman’s attorney argued that the state did not have sufficient physical evidence to convict his client.
According to the defense attorney, fresh wounds found on the victim during a medical examination could not have been caused by Aleman, who had already been in custody for several days at the time.
The prosecution presented witnesses who said the injuries were clear signs of abuse, according to Assistant Prosecutor John Esmerado.
“We obviously respect the jury’s decision, but we are disappointed that the medical evidence wasn’t accepted,” Esmerado said.
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