Jury verdict overturned in Uintah County sex abuse case
VERNAL — A judge has order a new trial for a Uintah County man accused of sexually abusing two female relatives.
Eighth District Judge Clark McClellan made his ruling Jan. 30, after determining there had been misconduct on the part of two jurors in Dewain Dale Boren's first trial.
Boren was charged with 50 felonies and six misdemeanors. In June, a jury of four men and four women deliberated for 14 hours before convicting Boren on six counts of forcible sex abuse, two counts of object rape, two counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor, and one count of sexual abuse of a minor.
He was acquitted on all other charges.
But immediately after the verdict, a defense investigator learned that one juror failed to disclose during jury selection that she had been sexually abused as a child, according to defense attorney Bill Morrison. The woman talked about the abuse with other jurors during deliberations, Morrison said.
The defense investigator also learned that another juror sent text messages during deliberations to an alternate juror who had been dismissed from the case. Some of the text messages expressed the juror's frustration that there might be a hung jury.
"Kinda glad I'm not you right now," the alternate juror wrote in one text message included in court records.
"Yeah, it's killing me," the juror replied, then later texted: "Well ... we're all agreeing on things it for sure won't be 56 charges!!!!"
Uintah County prosecutor John Gothard said he agrees with McClellan's decision to order a new trial. "The case law supports it," he said. "But it is frustrating that we have to put the victims through this all over again."
Boren is free on $300,000 bail. He must wear an electronic ankle monitor and is barred from having any contact with the relatives he's accused of abusing. His next court hearing is set for Feb. 13.
Boren is charged in 8th District Court with 25 counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, 11 counts of object rape, a first-degree felony, one count of attempted rape, a first-degree felony, 11 counts of forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony, two counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony, and six counts of sexual abuse of a minor, a class A misdemeanor.
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