July 22, 2006

WA: 30 months in prison, then "not guilty"

You know the guy here in South Sound granted a retrial by the state Court of Appeals, for reasons that one news outlet spun and minimized as, "a juror handed the judge a doughnut?"

Yes, he won the second time around. From the Olympian:

Children’s entertainer not guilty in retrial - DeGroff convicted of molestation in 2003

A former day-care entertainer was exonerated of child molestation charges Friday, three years after being convicted in the same case. James P. DeGroff said he was “extremely relieved and overwhelmed” after a jury returned a not guilty verdict in Thurston County Superior Court.

DeGroff spent 30 months in prison, and then was released under court-imposed conditions before the case against him finally ended in acquittal Friday. “In general, it’s just been a living nightmare,” he said. His plans for the future are, “just trying to rebuild my life,” he added.

The Seattle firm of Cohen and Iaria represented him through to acquittal.