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Judge rules against alleged juror misconduct in Canton trial

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CANTON — A St. Lawrence County judge refused to vacate a Lisbon’s man sexual assault conviction following a hearing of alleged juror misconduct.

Dustin J. Davis, 29, Lisbon, was convicted Sept. 30 of second-degree sexual abuse, second-degree burglary as a sexually motivated crime, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.

In a May 7 hearing, Christopher Young, Potsdam, said he had daily conversations during the trial with Wendy Sharpe, Norwood, about how her niece, a juror, was going to put Davis in prison.

Both Britney Trombly and Ms. Sharpe testified the conversations never happened. They said they talked about the trial only after it was over.

Davis and Ms. Sharpe once dated without the knowledge of her niece, according to testimony.

In a three-page decision Thursday, Judge Jerome J. Richards wrote that Mr. Young’s testimony was not credible.

Judge Richards wrote there was no direct testimony that proved Ms. Trombly violated her oath and conspired with her aunt to convict Davis.

“The denial by the juror and Ms. Sharpe of any such scheme or involvement is credited as believable by the Court,” Judge Richards wrote.

Davis was accused of breaking into a camper on County Route 14 in Rensselaer Falls on Aug. 3, 2010, and fondling his victim while she was alone. He pulled a blanket from her while she slept, shook her awake and commanded, “Show me,” the accuser testified.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled. Davis faces up to 15 years in prison.

Davis was convicted in May 2006 of third-degree rape. He admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old girl in August 2005 and was sentenced to prison for 1 to 3 years for violating probation.

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