A Gainesville man who faced up to five life sentences on child molestation and rape charges was acquitted on all counts by a Hall County jury this week.
Early Lee Glasper, 39, was accused of having sex with a 10-year-old girl who knew him. He was indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, child molestation, aggravated child molestation and statutory rape.
Glasper’s attorney, public defender Anne Watson, said the jury took just 40 minutes to deliberate the case Monday night before coming back with not guilty verdicts on all eight counts.
Watson said the allegations were first made in October 2007 after the girl had a routine medical examination that revealed a sexually transmitted disease. A doctor reported the findings to the local office of the state Division of Family and Children Services, and the girl’s mother later accused Glasper of child molestation.
Watson said the girl’s versions of what happened varied dramatically between a forensic interview, a therapist’s interview and her testimony during the six-day trial.
The girl made similar allegations against a relative in Kentucky, but a grand jury there declined to indict the case. That evidence was not allowed in the trial due to rape shield laws, Watson said.
A relative of the girl testified during Glasper’s trial that the girl, now 12, told her she had consensual sex with a boy a few months before the medical exam, Watson said.
Glasper spent nearly two years in jail awaiting trial after being unable to post a $25,000 bond, Watson said. He remains in custody for a Gwinnett County child support warrant.
Watson said several relatives of Glasper’s sat in the courtroom during the trial in a show of support. Glasper did not testify in his own defense.
Watson said the sexual abuse protocol designed to protect victims "can be abused itself."
"A case that has no merit can just follow the protocol all the way to the jury trial," Watson said. "This jury found that the state couldn’t prove its case."