Westlake Man Set Free After Acquittal

by Vincent Lupo, American Press

A 36-year-old Westlake man accused of molesting two teenage girls was acquitted this week when the judge ruled that prosecutors hadn’t proved the man was at least two years older than the girls at the time of the incidents.

Judge al Gray granted a motion for acquittal that was requested by defense attorney Glen Vamvoras. Vamvoras waived a jury trial for his client, who then faced trial by Gray alone.

Vamvoras claimed Assistant District Attorney Cate Bartholomew failed to determine the age of     of   at the time of the alleged incidents.

State law says a defendant accused of child molestation must be older than 17 and that there must be at least two years’ difference in age between the defendant and the alleged victim.

The latter must be younger than 17.

Bartholomew argued that the state’s criminal procedure code allows a judge to acknowledge certain facts not actually introduced in evidence, but Gray said he could not do so in this case.

The prosecutor also said the defendant’s date of birth was contained on the formal written charge lodged against him, but Gray said the document wasn’t part of the evidence in the case.

  was accused of having manual genital contact with two girls on Nov. 23, 2000. The girls were 13 and 14 years at the time.

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