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Man found not guilty in sexual assault

March 12, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

Man found not guilty in sexual assault

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Jefferson County jury deliberated for about five minutes Wednesday before finding a Charles Town man not guilty of a first-degree sexual abuse charge.

The quick decision by the jury surprised court officials, who scrambled back into the courtroom to take the verdict.

Kevin Maurice Dozier, 38, hugged his defense attorney, Keith Wheaton, after the verdict was announced.

Dozier was accused of attempting to make a saleswoman perform oral sex then exposing himself and masturbating when she refused as they stood in his driveway on Feb. 17, 1997, according to court records. Dozier had been free on $1,000 bond since his arrest on March 6, 1997.

Wheaton told the jurors that the sex was consensual.

"Married people aren't the only ones who have sex," Wheaton said during his closing arguments.

Wheaton said the woman was upset because she did not make a sale after spending time making a presentation about an air filtration system.

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Wheaton said the woman came on to Dozier throughout the night until "things got hot and heavy."

Wheaton told the jurors not to punish Dozier for reacting like any "warm-blooded male" would when the woman came on to him.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Larry Crofford called Wheaton's theory "ludicrous."

"That's the most ridiculous and insulting thing I've ever heard," Crofford told the jury.

Crofford called Dozier's account of consensual sex "the stuff of bad novels and pornographic material."

The woman is a lesbian and was not interested in Dozier and had nothing to gain by coming forward, Crofford said.

Crofford said later that the case came down to her word versus his.

"If there's a lesson to be learned from this, it is certainly better to be a man in our society, but it's outright dangerous to be a woman," Crofford said later.

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