After a hard fought and contentious trial, Bradford Ladner attorneys Amber Ladner and William Bradford won a not guilty verdict on a Sex Abuse charge in the Jefferson County Circuit Court in Birmingham, Alabama. In this case our client was charged with a two count sex abuse charge in which he was accused of sexual abuse of his own son. The testimony in the case, in Jefferson County Circuit Court, lasted almost five days, after which the jury deliberated for two days before reaching a not guilty verdict. The trial took place the week before Memorial Day. The jury deliberated for several hours before deciding to come back the following Tuesday after Memorial Day to continue deliberations. Ultimately, however, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on the sex abuse charge.
The case originated when a sex abuse charge and allegation was made against our client after he filed for custody of his son in Jefferson County Family Court. The allegations were false, and were being used to gain an unfair advantage and leverage in the ongoing custody dispute between our client and the mother of the child. Our client was a former catholic priest who had previously hosted a televised show at EWTN Network. He met and developed a relationship with a coworker and fathered a son in 2008. Our client took a leave of absence from the priesthood at that time in order to fulfill his role as a father. However, because of disputes with the mother, the matter ended up in family court in the form of a custody and paternity petition. Despite having been granted visitation with his son, and a visitation order in place, problems persisted with his exercise of visitation. In May 2012 the mother of the child made sex abuse charge allegations, accusing our client of sexually abusing the child.
Despite receiving offers from the State to plea bargain the case, our client was adamant about his innocence and wanted his case to go to trial. Determined to see that the truth prevail and justice be won, Bradford Ladner attorneys began an almost 3 year process of gathering and analyzing any possible evidence pertaining to the charge, our client, or the allegations. Finally in May the case came to trial. It took almost 3 years to get the case from the District Court level to the point where it was in front of a jury. Thankfully due to thorough investigation, hard work and preparation, we were able to present evidence of our client’s innocence to the jury and to successfully challenge the evidence presented by the State in this case. This was despite the testimony offered by the State from two forensic interviewers and a private psychologist. The testimony of the State’s witnesses was hotly challenged by Bradford and Ladner during cross-examination concerning their methods and conclusions. We offered our own expert testimony challenging the State’s expert witnesses.
The trial was emotionally charged and contentious and involved numerous arguments about the law. Our client had not been able to see his son for almost three years due to his bond conditions. The emotionally charged case without a doubt a hard fought case from the time the jury was selected until closing arguments.
Without a doubt, this was a tough case, with a lot of factors that seemed to weigh against a not guilty verdict. Hard work, a mastery of the facts of the case, and in depth legal research on all aspects of Alabama law touching on the case resulted in justice for our client.