City man acquitted of sex abuse charges
A Russellville man was found not guilty of sexual abuse Thursday after a three-day trial.
The state began their case against David Wayne James, 49, of 2000 Waterloo Road in Russellville, Monday with Colbert County Circuit Judge Hal Houghston presiding over the case in the absence of Judge Terry Dempsey, who recused himself from the case.
James was accused to fondling two young girls in 2005.
The jury heard testimony in the case through Wednesday, and closing arguments were held Thursday.
After deliberating for one hour, the jury rendered a not guilty verdict on each of the charges.
Defense Attorney Rod Slusher said the jury's decision was based on the facts of the case and the not-guilty verdict was expected.
James said even though he has been cleared of all criminal charges, the case is not over for him.
"I'm not done," James said. "I have filed a lawsuit against [the victims' mother] for slandering my good name, and I am going to continue my efforts until those people who need to be are held responsible for their actions."
James said that charges were brought against him simply because the victims' mother became angry with him after their relationship broke up.
"Too many innocent people are being charged with this type of crime in Franklin County," James said.
"We offered evidence to the jury that I was a victim of a fatal attraction, and when I stopped the relationship, I was targeted with these charges in order to ruin me."
"Now that I'm a free man, I can do something to expose the sour underbelly of this issue, and pursue proper remedies both in civil and criminal court for what has been done to me."
During trial testimony, the victims recanted their allegation that James had touched them inappropriately.
James' lawsuit against the victim's mother for slander was filed in circuit court on Feb. 19, 2006.
James said while the ordeal was difficult for him, he found support from a number of different people.
"I found out just how many friends and supporters I had," James said.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Evans, who tried the case, said the District Attorney's Office denies the allegations that he was targeted by these charges.
"These types of cases are always difficult, but we thank the jury for their consideration of the evidence," Evans said.