by Dalton Carver
A jury found Brian Scranton not guilty of two counts of sexual assault Tuesday after a five-day trial.
Scranton, a Ridgway resident, was charged with sexual assault-victim physically helpless and sexual assault-victim incapable of appraising nature of conduct. The state alleged Scranton sexually assaulted a female acquaintance the evening of May 16, 2015 at his Ridgway residence after a small get-together.
The woman went into the bathroom during the party and then found her way to the home office, where she lay down on the floor. Scranton discovered her there after everyone else had left.
Scranton alleged the sexual interaction was consensual. During cross-examination, the woman adamantly denied that assertion. She said she was intoxicated to the point of paralysis and was in and out of consciousness.
See last week’s Plaindealer for coverage of the first part of the trial.
Despite less-than-stellar road conditions and visibility due to heavy snowfall Tuesday, the full jury attended and rendered a verdict that afternoon, about two hours after receiving instructions from the court that guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt.
The verdict followed powerful closing statements from Seth Ryan, deputy district attorney, and Scranton’s attorney, Gordon Gallagher.
While Ryan pointed out the accuser had no reason to deceive anyone about the assault, Gallagher focused on her...