|Jury convicts man on all charges of sex crimes|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Jan. 14, 2007 - A Hopkins County jury early Saturday morning found Charles Whitley Mick, 36, guilty on two charges of aggravated sexual assault of his 4-year-old daughter, and two charges of aggravated sexual assault and four counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact with his girlfriend’s 7-year-old son in January of 2005.
�The jury worked really hard on this case. They stayed until 1 this morning,� District Attorney Martin Braddy said midmorning Saturday. "The lawyers and court personnel were beginning to feel the long hours, but the jury never appeared to be lagging or overly tired. They took their time and considered all the evidence."
The sentencing phase of the trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The jury will have a wide range of punishment to consider when assessing punishment, including probation, as Mick has no prior felony convictions. The law requires that probation be offered as a possibility when the defendant has no prior felony record.
Mick could face fives year to life in prison on each of the four aggravated sexual assaultcharges, as well as two to 20 years in prison on each of the indecency charges.
The trial continued Friday afternoon with defense attorney Roland “Ron” Fergurson calling Charles Mick to the stand, as well as his mother, sister and current girlfriend.
Mick denied ever touching either his daughter or her older brother inappropriately.
Braddy questioned Mick why his account of each alleged incident changed during his interviews with law enforcement.
�I never meant to lie to them,� Mick said.�
�I love the kids and I wouldn�t do nothing to harm the kids,� he said at the conclusion of his testimony.
Mick’s mother testified that both the defendant and his daughter were living at her home when the offenses allegedly occurred. She said the child demanded to sleep with her father, and the doors to the bedrooms were always left open and that nothing inappropriate occurred.
"There is no way I’d allow that to happen in my home," she said. "I swear to God, and He can strike me down now, I wouldn’t have allowed it."
�She was just like any child who loves her father and is away from him. She would hang on to him.� She never was afraid of her father,� she testified of her granddaughter�s relationship with her son.
The defendant’s sister testified that Mick loved children, and that she trusted him with her children. She said Mick is her best friend as well as her brother, and she would still trust him with her children because she does not believe he would ever harm a child.
The defendant’s sister indicated she believes the allegations to be fabricated, with the children’s mother and the children acting together against Mick because “she wants him back.”