On Thursday, January 7, 2016 a Salem District Court jury found KU, a former Salem State University freshman, not guilty of Indecent Assault & Battery and Assault & Battery after deliberating for only 18 minutes. The case went back to May of 2014. KU (then a 19 year old male student) and NN (then a 19 year old female student) were both freshman at Salem State. They lived in the same dormitory. On Thursday, May 1, 2014 they went to a concert on the campus and then headed back to the dorm. NN invited KU to her room. He accepted the invite. Once in the room NN put on her television and got out a bottle of vodka and made a drink for herself and for KU. The two sat on NN’s bed and talked and watched TV. They were together in the room for several hours. After that her version of what happened and his version of what happened were very different. In a statement NN gave to the campus police she told the police that KU tried to kiss her and she told him she was not interested. She then told the police that KU said he wanted to f–k her and then he pushed her down on the bed and tried removing her bra and pants (without success). NN told the police that KU grabbed and slapped her buttocks and groped her breasts. The campus police called in KU. He told the police that yes he was in the room and yes he tried to kiss her but that was all that happened. He denied holding her down (the basis of the assault & battery charge) and he denied groping her breasts and touching her buttocks (the basis of the indecent assault & battery charge). The police charged KU with the two offenses.
KU and his parents came to see Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained that a conviction for Indecent Assault & Battery would carry sex offender registration for the next 20 years. Attorney Lewin explained that losing was just not an option. KU and his parents retained Attorney Lewin.
Attorney Lewin pressed the District Attorney’s Office for the discovery in the case. There were recorded interviews of KU and a so-called first complaint witness. A first complaint witness is the first person to whom the complainant tells her story. Attorney Lewin interviewed the first complaint witness and it turned out that she was going to be a very favorable witness for the defense. Attorney Lewin took note that there was no recorded interview of the complainant. That was unusual. Through aggressive discovery Attorney Lewin was able to obtain copies of pages from NN’s personal diary which she had written the day following the alleged assault. The diary pages were a treasure for the defense.
On Thursday, January 7, 2016 the case went to trial by Jury. Attorney Lewin had meticulously prepared KU (and the first complaint witness) to testify in Court. Attorney Lewin was able to use NN’s handwritten notes to destroy her credibility with the jury. At 3:32 pm the Jury was sent out to deliberate. At 3:50 pm (just 18 minutes later) everyone was called back into the Courtroom as the jury had reached verdicts. The jury found KU not guilty of both charges. KU and his parents and Attorney Lewin walked out of the Salem District Court a very happy group of people. Attorney Lewin and KU and his parents walked together to the parking lot down the street from the Courthouse. As they were chatting one of the members of the jury walked by and turned to Attorney Lewin and said, “very nice job counsel”. It just doesn’t get any better!