Jury acquits man accused of molesting 9-year-old at hotel

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) - It took a week for jurors to hear all the testimony, but only three hours to reach a verdict in the case of a man charged with child molestation and statutory sodomy after accidentally crawling into the bed of a nine-year-old girl at the Ritz Carleton hotel in Clayton in 2011.

The defendant, Daniel Hughes maintained he was in a drunken stupor when he asked the desk clerk for the wrong room key that led him to the girl's bedroom.

Testimony earlier in the day Monday included a toxicologist`s estimate that Hughes was drunk by three times the legal limit after having 13 drinks that same evening.

Hughes and his family were elated as the verdict was read. They huddled outside the courthouse hugging after the trial.

'I am thrilled for Dan and thrilled for his family,' said defense attorney Scott Rosenblum. 'It has been a huge burden on this family for three years,' he said.

Hughes had been facing statutory sodomy and child molestation charges.

'These charges are the worst type of charges and I always believed in my client and believed they were unfounded and I am glad the jury agreed with us,' Rosenblum said.

Jurors reached the verdict so quickly they were back in the courtroom before the dinner they ordered arrived.

Those we spoke with say there simply was not enough solid evidence that the manner in which Hughes touched the girl constituted molestation.

'The charges that they gave us to deliberate on, that was the tough part,' said juror Kena Buford. 'If they came up with a lesser charge than maybe something could have turned around,' she said.

Although this trial is over, for the little girl`s family there is more to come because they are suing the Ritz Carlton for more than $5 million.

Buford said knowing that had no effect on the jury`s decision.

'Our heart went out to the little girl,' Buford said, 'but we had to keep it in our minds what we were there for.'

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  • Just

    So based upon their logic, if I get drunk, 3 times the legal limit, then get behind the wheel and drive, anything that happens is not my fault because I was drinking?

    I’m amazed at the logic of this jury. And I am disgusted at the judge for allowing this.

    • Joe Williams

      Getting drunk is not against the law, driving drunk is. In this case, the prosecution could not prove malice.

      • Idiot Detection Squad

        More than that. They also failed to prove he molested the girl. The cop admitted he falsified the police report and lied about an alleged confession.

      • Just

        Idiot…. I have one sound that describes you…. Baaaaaa!

        And you believe OJ didnt do it either.

        Your names says it all…. you’re an idiot.

  • 1082

    I work at the st louis city jail and deal with all kinds of people 40 hr

    Hr a week. Im not surprised by anything

    • Idiot Detection Squad

      “Baby girl” lied on the stand, admitted changing her story numerous times, and it was clear she was coached by her money grubbing parents who are suing the hotel for 5 million dollars

      • Sue

        A strange man got in bed with a 9 year old. He admitted she talked to him. He says he thought she was a 22 year old. It is only his word he got into their room by mistake. Yet you believe the family is being unreasonable.

      • Dipshit Alert

        Sue are you blind or just stupid? The State failed to prove any sexual touching occurred. The child admitted she made facts up, “researched the case” to prepare her what to say, and the parents coached her. On top of that, the police officer made up a false confession and falsified a police report. The jury came back with a not guilty verdict in less than 3 hours. Get a clue.

  • Terrible Teddie (@Neva_Eva_Always)

    If his family thinks he should be FREE for raping a CHILD then they would be considered DEAD to me if I knew them. I would tell the world I NEVER knew them because I don’t associate with sickos who think getting drunk like a hill billy from the trailer park and commiting a violent act on a child is cause for celebration.

    • Nat Sirius

      You realize she wasn’t raped, correct? She admitted ON THE STAND that she had lied/changed her story/etc…

      I’m hoping that you just misread the article, and that you’re not really that stupid.

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