Jury acquits man in Bellows Falls assault case


BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man has been acquitted of allegations that he had engaged in lewd conduct with a juvenile last year in Bellows Falls.

A jury in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division last week found Robert O. Solomon not guilty of a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and a misdemeanor count of prohibited acts.

The verdict came after testimony from Solomon, who had "maintained his innocence" throughout the process, defense attorney Rick Ammons said.

"The jury of Mr. Solomon's peers had an opportunity to fully hear from all of the family members who were involved," Ammons said. "They made a decision, and my feeling is that justice was served."

Windham County Deputy State's Attorney David Gartenstein, who prosecuted the case, noted that "it is the role of the jury to make a determination whether the state proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt."

"The jury worked long and hard," Gartenstein added. "We respect their decision."

Solomon, 53, was arrested in November 2012 after police received word of an assault on a female juvenile in Bellows Falls. The complaint was "inappropriate touching," which the alleged victim had reported to family members and to a child-interview specialist, Gartenstein said.

At the time, police said Solomon told an investigator that he and the girl had engaged in a "tickle fight."

Solomon's trial began on Oct. 23, and testimony concluded the following day. Prosecution witnesses included the alleged victim.

Ammons said his case mostly "was about cross-examining those witnesses." The defense called just one witness to the stand -- Solomon.

The jury deliberated for six hours on Oct. 25 before rendering not-guilty verdicts on both counts.

"Because of the conflicting points of view in the testimony, what the jury had to rely on was their observations as to credibility," Ammons said.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.


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