Benzie County Jury Verdict: Not Guilty

Benzie County Jury Verdic…

A Firm client was found Not Guilty after a jury trial in Benzie County, Michigan on February 10, 2020. Attorney Fil Iorio represented the Frankfurt Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief, who also worked during second shift for the Benzie Central Schools as a custodian, in a criminal case filed in Benzie County, Michigan. One day after school, the Firm’s client was alerted to a student who was in distress. It was reported that a female high school student was outside the high school building and had a developing rash on her neck and upper chest. She believed that the rash was caused by a caterpillar sting.

The Firm’s client was alerted to the student in distress and offered to provide assistance as he served as an on-call Frankfurt firefighter and had a medical first responder license from the State of Michigan. The Firm’ s client approached the female student and inquired about her rash. He then asked to examine the student’s rash to determine whether further action should be taken. The female student consented. During the examination, the female student’s boyfriend starting yelling and objecting to the examination.

The female student later filed a complaint against the Firm’s client alleging that she felt “sexually violated” by the examination. The Firm’s client cooperated with the law enforcement investigation but the Prosecutor’s office elected to file criminal indecent exposure charges against the Firm’s client alleging that he unlawfully exposed the female student’s breast. The Firm’s client entered a Not Guilty plea, disputed the charges and ultimately the case headed to trial.

Attorney Iorio represented the Frankfurt Assistant Fire Chief at trial and argued vigorously that providing assistance to a student in distress was no crime. The Firm’s client took the stand and explained that he was merely trying to assist the student by providing basic medical responder first aid. In closing, Iorio argued that his client’s good deed, coming to the assistance of a student in need and conducting an examination of the rash to determine if further action should be taken, should not be punished.

The Benzie County Jury deliberated and ultimately reached the just and fair verdict – Not Guilty.

If you believe that you have been unjustly charged with a criminal offense and are seeking experienced legal assistance, contact the attorneys at Kalniz, Iorio & Reardon.

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