EVANSVILLE, Ind. - It took a jury Tuesday just 15 minutes to return a not-guilty verdict in the case against a former Harrison High School teacher accused of criminal deviate conduct.
Jordan McGuire, 27, was accused of giving alcohol to the alleged victim, an 18-year-old male, and performing a sex act on him against his will in January 2012.
“This case is just riddled with reasonable doubt,” defense attorney Scott Danks in closing arguments Tuesday morning.
Both sides presented evidence in the case to the Vanderburgh Circuit Court jury Monday afternoon, with just three witnesses for the prosecution and McGuire as the only defense witness.
“This is a very, very short trial. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a very, very serious trial,” Danks said.
After exchanging hugs, McGuire and his family left the courthouse with Danks following the reading of the verdict — with the alleged victim’s father just a few feet behind them, a stunned expression on his face. Two Vanderburgh County sheriff’s deputies accompanied the group outside to ensure nothing happened.
“(My son) will never be the same. He still doesn’t trust people,” the father of the alleged victim said. He said embarrassment kept his son from initially reporting the alleged incident to police.
McGuire testified that he believed it was consensual when he performed oral sex on the former Harrison student after a night of drinking.
Slight and quiet, the alleged victim on Monday testified that he graduated from Harrison before McGuire began teaching there. He said he and his roommate volunteered to help with production of a school musical directed by McGuire even though they were no longer students there.
The alleged victim also testified that he had no memory of the incident and gave conflicting testimony about whether he had approved, telling Deputy Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Mike Perry that he did not consent and would not have consented to it because he was heterosexual. He said he only found out about the next day from his roommate at the apartment where the incident was said to have happened.
However, under questioning by Danks, the alleged victim said he could not remember the incident or if he had consented to it.
He testified that McGuire went to dinner with them and his roommate’s boyfriend after a rehearsal and that they then went back the apartment, where they drank vodka and played a drinking game with cards.
He testified he remembered little about what happened after that until he woke up on the couch the next morning. He told the jury that the others told him about the sex act the following day but that he had no recollection of it.
However, his roommate, Zack Robbins, testified that all four played spin the bottle and kissed after finishing the drinking game, something McGuire testified to as well.
Robbins testified that he and his boyfriend went into the kitchen and that when they returned they saw McGuire performing oral sex on the alleged victim who appeared to have blacked out. Robbins said they asked McGuire what he was doing and McGuire stopped.
McGuire testified that the alleged victim was awake and that the incident happened after they had a conversation and kissed first.