Jury acquits man of assaulting stepdaughter
A jury in Glenwood Springs on Friday declared William Korn, 37, not guilty of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in 2016.
Over the course of the eight-day trial, prosecutors in the Ninth District Attorney’s Office made the case that Korn got the 13-year-old girl drunk before using an object to assault her at his Parachute home on Dec. 12, 2016.
Korn did not testify during the trial.
Korn was visibly relieved as Judge John Neiley read the verdict Friday night, which the jury reached unanimously after more than 7 hours of deliberation. He embraced his public defenders, Elise Myer and Alex Haynes.
Korn was charged with sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, a class 3 felony punishable by four to 12 years in prison, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly supplying alcohol.
After Neiley told Korn he was free, he made a statement that the Parachute Police detective and supervisory witness in the trial should be charged with perjury.
Neiley said he didn’t make charging decisions, and that he would not tolerate statements like that.
“The allegations in this case are a story,” public defender Alex Haynes said in closing arguments. “A story filled with inconsistencies, inconsistencies filled with impossibilities. It’s inconsistent, and impossible, because it didn’t happen,” he said.
Despite the lack of the girl’s DNA on the object and certain changes to the story over the course of the investigation, deputy district attorney Sarah Nordgaard said that the “core details” of the alleged victim’s story of the assault remained the same.
“The defendant now tries to attack the victim’s credibility. He wants to make sure you don’t listen to her,” Nordgaard said.
Throughout the girl’s three on-the-record statements — the first at a forensic interview 8 months after the alleged incident, the second at a review hearing March 2019 and the third as a witness during this trial — the important details were the same.
Korn allegedly stopped off in Rifle to purchase alcohol, and gave it to the girl on the drive to Parachute, where he took her to his bedroom, gave a “sex talk” and then supposedly touched her sexually with an object, according to prosecutors.
But the defense pointed out what they saw as inconsistencies in the girl’s story, and claimed that they make the girl’s testimony unbelievable.
There was confusion around the receipt from the liquor store, Nordgaard said in closings.
The initial report on finding that receipt said the purchase happened around 1:30 p.m. — earlier than the prosecution’s timeline.
The investigator clarified his testimony later in the trial that the time in his report was a typographical error.
The time on the receipt was the time it was printed — not the time of purchase, Nordgaard said, and the date was enough to corroborate the girl’s story.
Both the prosecution and the defense attorneys declined to comment on the verdict.
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