PARIS, Maine — A 24-year-old Rhode Island man was found not guilty Thursday of gross sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in Hanover two years ago.
The verdict for Kyle C. Sanville, of Richmond, R.I., came at about 1:30 p.m., following about three hours of deliberation by an Oxford County Superior Court jury of 13 women and one man.
Sanville was indicted in August 2012. The emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter pleaded not guilty in Oxford County Superior Court in October 2012.
According to trial testimony this week, the girl said she was assaulted in late November 2011 at a home in Hanover after Sanville had gone out drinking with friends. He was visiting the girl’s family over the Thanksgiving holiday week during that time.
Five months later, school officials intercepted the girl’s Internet posting that described the alleged incident, according to testimony.
The girl, who is now 15, testified in court that she and Sanville had sex in her parents’ bed while her parents were at their camp in East Corinth for the weekend. Her mother testified she knew Sanville would be sleeping over in her home while she and her husband were at their camp.
Sanville testified Wednesday that he never touched the girl sexually, that he slept on a twin mattress on the living room floor at the home in Hanover. Sanville testified the girl was “lying.”
On Thursday morning attorneys for both sides gave their closing statements to the jury, both saying the trial boiled down to one word: “trust.”
Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Richard R. Beauchesne argued that the case came down to a “he said, she said” situation and that the implied trust between the accused and the victim and her family had been breached by the defendant.
“‘I trusted him to protect my daughter,’” Beauchesne quoted the girl’s mother as testifying. “He (Sanville) took advantage of the trust…”, he said.
But defense attorney Kevin Joyce said the real breach of trust was done by the state in providing inadequate evidence that his client committed the crime. He said the prosecution, through the investigation, failed to provide the jury with evidence such as the victim’s texts describing the incident and timely interviews with witnesses. He also reminded the jury that the girl testified she had “problems with truthfulness.”
Joyce said the trial was difficult for both sides.
“Kyle and his family are extremely relieved.”
Beauchesne called the trial a “well-tried case.”
“The jury did its job,” he said.