Read the facts below!! I say no more!
By Riley Yates, Of The Morning Call
1:22 P.M. EST, JANUARY 28, 2013
Four years after being convicted of coercing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him, a Lower Saucon Township man is being cleared of the charges after a successful appeal.
Kevin Watterson, 40, served nearly 20 months in state prison before he was paroled on the up-to-seven-year sentence he received in Northampton County Court for statutory sexual assault and corrupting and furnishing alcohol to a minor.
But in November 2010, an appellate court granted Watterson a new trial, finding the prosecutor had acted inappropriately when she claimed to the jury that he had taken the girl's virginity. And on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Patricia Broscius said she plans to file paperwork dismissing the charges, since the girl does not wish to go through a second trial.
"I look at it as there's insufficient evidence to proceed," Broscius said.
Her decision comes as Watterson's lawyers at appeal, Dennis Boyle and K. Edward Raleigh, filed a petition last week seeking to have the case tossed because the prosecution had failed to give Watterson a speedy retrial.
Watterson, who asserted his innocence, was found guilty in January 2009 of having sex with the girl after giving her and a friend alcohol during a sleepover at his Drifting Drive home. Judge Edward Smith sentenced him to 17 to 84 months in state prison, plus three years of probation.
In ordering a new trial, the Superior Court said Broscius prejudiced jurors by alleging during opening statements that the girl was a virgin. Pennsylvania's Rape Shield Law generally bars either side from bring up an accuser's sexual past, and Smith had specifically prohibited such evidence in a pretrial ruling, the decision said.
Watterson's trial attorney, Douglas Tkacik, objected to Broscius' comments at the time, requesting a mistrial or the chance to present testimony to the contrary, both of which Smith denied. But while Smith told the jury to "completely disregard" the virginity claim, saying it had "no bearing on the case," the Superior Court found the instruction wasn't enough to eliminate the prejudice.
The statements "had the unavoidable effect of creating a bias and hostility toward [Watterson] by improperly asserting that he took the virginity of a 15-year-old victim, a fact not of record that [he] could not refute and the prosecution could not prove," the decision said.
Watterson was released from prison on parole in December 2010, less than two weeks after the ruling. In October 2011, the state Supreme Court declined to review the case, upholding the appeals court.
A phone call to Boyle and Raleigh was not returned Monday.