Jury Deadlocked in Trial of Former San Jose State Athletic Trainer Accused of Sexual Assault

Amidst tense deliberations, the jury in the trial of Scott Shaw, a former athletic trainer at San Jose State University, found themselves deadlocked on some of the charges against him. Unyielding jurors on both sides of the guilty-not guilty spectrum led to a standstill in the courtroom on the second day of deliberations.

The anxious jurors sought guidance from U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, expressing their deadlock in a handwritten note sent to her. However, the judge advised them to continue deliberating, urging them to thoroughly review all the evidence.

Undeterred, the eight women and four men on the jury returned to the jury room the following day to scrutinize the testimony of two former athletes. One of them, a former soccer player, shed light on an unsettling incident in 2019. She recounted how Scott Shaw, while treating her shoulder injury, allegedly inappropriately touched her breast and cupped her buttocks. A second former athlete, a water polo player, testified about Shaw touching her nipple during treatment for a shoulder injury and grabbing her bare buttocks.

Witnessing the emotional distress of the victims, both of whom broke down in tears during their testimonies, further emphasized the gravity of the allegations.

The jury foreman requested the full testimony of the soccer player, which was granted by the judge. However, the jury’s request to revisit partial testimony from the water polo player was denied. Judge Freeman cautioned them against relying on potentially distorted recollections, suggesting they rely on their own memories of the testimony.

In another note to the judge, a different juror sought clarification on the meaning of “willfully.” Specifically, they questioned whether proof of bad or evil intent was necessary or if a reckless disregard for the victim’s bodily integrity would suffice. Judge Freeman directed the jury to review the provided instructions, effectively leaving the interpretation of intent in their hands.

Scott Shaw, 56, had pleaded not guilty to six federal charges, all related to violation of the constitutional rights to bodily integrity of four women. He voluntarily left his position at the university in 2020, after allegations dating back to 2009 by members of the women’s swim team came to light. While an internal investigation in 2010 cleared Shaw of any wrongdoing, subsequent investigations by the Cal State system and the U.S. Department of Justice, prompted by additional testimonies from athletes, ultimately led to the charges against him.

The trial continues as the jury endeavors to reach a unanimous decision. The outcome of this highly significant case will have reverberating effects on both the affected athletes and the reputation of San Jose State University.

Author: CrimeDoor

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