Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Sept. 23
Jury favored acquittal for man accused of abuse
Vote was eleven-to-one concluding trial for Raul Licon Jr.
A jury deadlocked on whether a California firefighter molested a boy in his care, and a mistrial was declared this afternoon, July 19, 2013. The jury of 5 men and 7 women deliberated more than one day, beginning early yesterday.
The vote favored acquittal, eleven-to-one, and the attorney defending Raul Licon Jr. said the accused man was “thrilled” with the outcome. “The community has spoken,” said defense attorney Rick Layon.
Testimony began July 9, when the jury began to hear evidence accusing Licon of sexually molesting a boy starting in 2009, when the child was fourteen. The accuser is now 18 years old, and was the first witness during trial.
The teen said acts of abuse went on for years, until he became suicidal in 2011, when he carved the words MISERY and FREAK into his own body using a box cutter; it was after he was taken to hospital that he first revealed the alleged abuses. Raul Licon Jr. was arrested in March 2012, the defendant immediately posted $250,000 bond, and he has been at liberty since.
Raul Licon Jr., 39, was vigorously defended by privately retained counsel Rick Layon. The defense attorney aggressively challenged the soft-spoken teen’s credibility, the lawyer suggesting that the accuser was a troubled teen who resented being told to do household chores and to turn down his loud music.
This case will next be in court on Thursday, before the same judge who heard the trial. Honorable Richard Mills is expected to hear from the prosecutor whether the district attorney’s office intends to retry the case. The judge could decide to dismiss all six felony abuse charges, and defense counsel is “cautiously optimistic” that will happen, he said.
“That should be the end of it,” attorney Rick Layon said in a phone interview this afternoon. Layon said of his client: “He’s looking for some closure.”
Defendant Raul Licon Jr. and attorneys are expected to be in Department 21 of San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse at 9 a.m. on July 25, 2013.
(The judge denied requests to photograph during trial, and the photo is from a previous hearing.)
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- California firefighter ordered to trial on child abuse charges — Sept. 28, 2012
- DNA Evidence in Hearings Against Firefighter — Aug. 11, 2012