Judge Delivers Not Guilty Verdict in Domestic Sex Abuse Case

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During a Feb. 13 non jury trial, DC Superior Court Judge Jennifer M. Anderson found the defendant not guilty on all charges. 

In 2019 Jeffrey Owens was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and simple assault. The complainant in the case reported that the defendant assaulted her on Aug. 13, 2018, after an argument regarding his infidelity. 

During the trial on Feb. 13, both legal parties presented their closing arguments to the court. 

The prosecution began by detailing the history of the romantic relationship between the complainant and the defendant. She said that the relationship between the two was “far from perfect” and they’d broken up many times. She added, however, that day was different because the complaint was ready to end the relationship. 

The prosecution said Owens was used to the complainant being upset, but now that she was ready to leave him, he didn’t have the same hold on her that he had in the past. She said that this difference in behavior is what led to the assault. 

Defense Attorney Jacqueline Cadman agreed with the prosecution that this time was different, but she said this time was different not because the complainant was happy to leave the Owens, but rather because she would frame him for a crime he didn’t commit. 

Cadman said that for the court to reject the inconsistencies and lack of evidence in the complainant’s testimony would deny her client a fair trial.

 She said the prosecution has not given its case beyond a reasonable doubt,concluding that, based on the record of the court, the prosecution has not met that burden. 

After listening to the closing arguments of both parties, Judge Anderson ruled in favor of the defense and agreed that the lack of evidence against the defendant and variation in testimonies from the complainant does not suffice beyond a reasonable doubt.

Upon hearing the verdict, the courtroom filled with Owens’ friends and family erupted in applause. 

The defendant himself was silent except for a brief acknowledgment to Judge Anderson, thanking her for her discretion.

He hugged Cadman and embraced his family members before leaving the courthouse for the final time in this case.

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