LaGRANGE — A Troup County jury acquitted a 55-year-old man of all charges following a child molestation trial Friday in superior court.
Earnest D. Reese, 55, of Whitesville Road, was found not guilty on all charges the state brought against him. He had been accused of aggravated child molestation, child molestation and incest.
The jury found insufficient evidence that Reese committed the allegations, which were made by a minor child several years after the child said it occurred.
LaGrange-based Attorney Ken Gordon, who represented Reese, told jurors the boy’s accusations were inconsistent with the evidence gathered in the case. For example, the child told a forensic interviewer the home where the incident allegedly happened was a two-story home with stairs. In reality, Reese was living in a single-wide trailer.
Gordon also argued that the child’s sibling had also been molested by a different person, and that the child was jealous of the attention the sibling was receiving. A custody battle between the child’s parents may have exacerbated the situation and Gordon claimed a family member had concocted the molestation story and coerced the child into telling it as retaliation against Reese.
In his opening statement earlier this week, Gordon said, “This is one of those cases that makes you proud to be an attorney. Clearing his name is more important to (Reese) than the possibility of spending the rest of his life in jail.”
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.