Bet that jury regrets its verdict

The Herald reports:

Less than three months after being cleared of raping a young girl, a Mosgiel man began grooming a 14-year-old online.
Except she was not the innocent schoolgirl 63-year-old Evan Hedley Smith thought.
It was an undercover police officer – a member of the Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand team.
Smith will be sentenced on a charge of grooming at the Dunedin District Court today after earlier pleading guilty.

Well done NZ Police.

So how did he get found not guilty to the earlier charges?

What the man was less keen to disclose was in June that year, he had been on trial at the Dunedin District Court where a jury found him not guilty on two counts of rape and six of indecent assault.
The complainant in that case – a young girl – said Smith abused her up to four times a week for 18 months.
At trial, the jury heard evidence that two used condoms from Smith’s bin were found by scientists to feature DNA from him and her.

The defence case was that the girl had blown the condoms up like balloons at times, or her DNA might have been transferred on to them from other items she put among the rubbish.
The jury was not convinced Smith had sexually abused her and unanimously acquitted him.

Now we didn’t hear all the evidence, but DNA from a young girl on a condom is pretty damn strong and the suggestion she used them as balloons is laughable.

Hopefully he gets a long sentence for the grooming, to keep the community safe.

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