Jury finds Fallon man not guilty of sex charges
Nevada Appeal News Service
After less than 90 minutes of deliberations Tuesday afternoon, a Churchill County jury acquitted a 21-year old Fallon man of lewdness with a child under 14 and one count of sexual assault on a child under 14.
Richard Kyle Frank Molina showed little emotion as the verdict was read, but his supporters who sat behind him for the two-day trial broke into tears and hugs when the last acquittal charge was read.
As court was recessed, his supporters gave the court and jury a standing ovation.
Molina was taken back to the county jail to gather his personal belongings.
While no one questioned whether Molina put his hands down the pants of a 12-year-old girl more than nine months ago, his intent was being debated.
Molina was accused of two counts of lewdness with a child under 14 and one count of sexual assault on a child under 14. One of the counts of lewdness with a child under 14 was dismissed Tuesday morning because there was no evidence Molina had touched the girl’s breasts.
Deputy District Attorney Craig Mingay told the jury in closing arguments to use common sense when deciding why Molina put his hand down the girl’s pants.
The intent is whether Molina planned on arousing himself or the alleged victim when he put his hand down her pants.
He said Molina had changed his story, first telling Fallon Detective Jerry Edwards many details of the incident, and then testifying in court he did not remember much because he had been asleep before waking and finding her kissing him.
In an interview with Edwards that was played for the jury, Molina admitted something had happened the night of June 11, 2007, when he allegedly had sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl.
There was testimony the girl was infatuated with Molina and “threw” herself at him on several occasions.
“This is a 12-year-old girl. She cannot consent. It does not matter if she initiated it,” he said. “The law protects the 12-year-old child.”
Molina’s attorney, Jeffrey Freeman, said his client had many chances to act inappropriately with the girl before the incident but always pushed her away and told others to keep her away from him.
“All the other times he didn’t do anything,” he said, showing pictures to the jury of the girl with her arms around him while he slept.
When the then-12-year-old girl was interviewed by police, Edwards testified the false statements she gave were convincing.
The girl later told the detective most of what she had told him was untrue, adding she made up the other accusations because she was nervous.