Niagara Gazette

Courts

October 29, 2013

Hung jury declared in NT sex abuse trial

Niagara Gazette — Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas has declared a hung jury in the case of Bradley McNamara, the North Tonawanda man accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter.

Monday night's ruling came after two days of deliberations and a 10-2 vote to acquit McNamara, 39, of all four charges — second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual act, attempted second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child.

"Within an hour of deliberations, that was the count," defense attorney Robert Berkun said. "At one point, it was 11-1, but then it went back, and nothing changed for the 20 or so hours of discussions."

McNamara will be back in court Dec. 12 to discuss a retrial.

Earlier Monday, the jury requested that the testimony of the 14-year-old alleged victim be read back to them. The case rests with the teen's testimony, as there is no eyewitness testimony or physical evidence of the crimes. The girl said last week that McNamara, of Division Street, sexually abused her every night or every other night after tucking her in.

McNamara, the owner of Juicy Vapor, allegedly began touching her breasts in 2011, and over the course of a year and a half, the abuse escalated to oral sex and attempted rape, the girl testified.

Berkun has argued that the teen crafted the story out of a desire to meet her biological father. The sexual stories came from adult apps she had on her phone, he argued.

During closing arguments, Berkun said a vibrator McNamara allegedly gave the girl was never found, no semen was found on the bedsheets and the girl was not physically harmed. The teen's 10-year-old half-sister, who shared a room with the victim while some of the alleged abuse took place, testified that she did not hear or see anything inappropriate.

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