Jones not guilty of third-degree sexual assault, guilty of fourth

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The jury found former Gophers football player Dominic Jones not guilty of third-degree sexual assault Friday afternoon.

However, Jones is guilty of fourth-degree sexual assault, according to the verdict.

The Minnesota Daily has extensive coverage of the trial, including this article.

“I think it’s a victory for him,” defense attorney Earl Gray said. He said he is going to try to appeal it and thinks he could win on appeal. Many of the things Hennepin County Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum kept out of the trial, such as the victim’s past history, will be allowed on appeal. “All of those things will come out on appeal.”

The sentence for fourth-degree sexual assault is a presumed 24 months, but Gray said Jones will probably not serve any prison time.

The jury read the verdict at 1:45 p.m. to a full court room. During deliberation, the jury found Jones not guilty of third-degree rape Thursday, but found him guilty of fourth-degree Friday.

The jurors were sent back to deliberate other factors, which include whether Jones’ actions toward the woman were demeaning, humiliating or cruel. These factors will be used in determining Jones’ sentencing.

Special verdicts, answering the factors, came in at 2:44 p.m. The jury found that the act was humiliating, but not cruel. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 29. Jones has been released out on conditions of his bond.

As the court emptied, Jones was seen smiling with Gray’s arm around him. After Jones left the courtroom, he embraced members of his family.

The verdict comes after almost two full days of jury deliberations.

Rosenbaum defined fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct as contact with the alleged victim’s “intimate areas” with sexual or aggressive intent, while knowing or having reason to believe she was physically helpless.

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