February 07, 2012
By John Asbury
A jury deadlocked for the second time in the trial of a former Moreno Valley man who was charged with 21 counts of molesting a female relative.
The jury said Thursday that they were hung, 7-5, in favor of not guilty for charges against Victor Ung, 51, a Department of Defense contracted computer technician in Harvest, Ala.
Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek to retry the case a third time.
"We will be looking at the state of the evidence and the likelihood of proving it to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt," Riverside County district attorney spokesman John Hall said.
Ung initially was charged with 98 counts of sexually abusing a girl starting when she was 3 years old. He could have faced 29 consecutive life sentences on those charges.
The girl said Ung molested her more than 750 times from 1994 until 2003. Ung had moved to Alabama when he was charged in 2008, and was extradited to face trial.
A judge threw out many of the counts midway through the case, finding insufficient evidence.
A jury deadlocked in the first trial, 9-3, in favor of guilt.
Ung was represented by high-profile defense attorney, Mark Geragos, who previously represented Michael Jackson in his molestation trial.
Prosecutors said the girl told police Ung showed her pornography and molested her at a Catholic bookstore he operated and his home both in Moreno Valley.
The girl attempted suicide and told a therapist that she was molested.
The therapist was required to report the molestations to police, but the girl refused to undergo a forensic examination.
Geragos said Ung's ex-wife and the victim falsely accused Ung and concocted several of the allegations. He said the jury sided with lesser charges and couldn't reach a unanimous decision and were "aghast" that prosecutors would spend the tax dollars to try the case a second time.
"I think the initial outrage subsided and cooler heads saw it was clear Victor was wrongfully accused," Geragos said. "When you have these charges, people assume they're true, so it's tough to defend. It's clear this case never should have been brought."
Julie Galloway, who served on the jury, said the prosecution's case was hard to believe and the victim was confused and inconsistent during her testimony.
"The prosecution had too many holes in their argument," Galloway said. "It seemed like a waste of money. I don't think there was enough evidence to go to court."
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