Dedicated with thanks to Susan Eazer:
I went to law school. And I became a prosecutor. I took on a specialty that very few choose to pursue. I prosecuted child abuse and child homicide cases. Cases that were truly gut-wrenching. But standing up for those kids, being their voice for justice was the honor of a lifetime.-Susana Martinez
Todd Wilhelm at Thou Art the Man described the presentation of the verdict.
At 4:13 P.M. the Jury returned and gave the envelope containing their verdicts to Judge Astrowsky. The courtroom was deathly silent as we waited to hear the verdicts. Judge Astrowsky looked the forms over and then had the Clerk read the verdicts aloud.
The Jury found Thomas Chantry not guilty on counts 1 and 8.
The Jury found Thomas Chantry guilty on counts 6 and 7.
The Jury was deadlocked on counts 2-5. A mistrial was declared on these four counts.
…Sentencing was scheduled for Friday, September 28th at 9:00 A.M. The parties also agreed to have a Status Conference on the same day to discuss the 4 counts on which the jurors were unable to come to a decision.
It is my understanding from Todd that those two verdicts could carry a maximum of 3 years in prison. However, since this is a first conviction, he may only receive on year. Probation is also possible. I am hoping for prison time.
Was there a juror who had a bias coming into the trial?
When the following occurred, we learned some vital information about the nature of the deadlocked jury from Todd’s blog.
Judge Astrowsky thanked the jurors and said their service was now complete, they no longer had to comply with the admonition. He asked them to remain in a back room so he could come and personally thank them, and then they would be free to leave or to remain and answer questions from the two Attorneys.
Wilhelm learned that one of the jurors had no intention of voting to convict Chantry on sexual abuse charges. Apparently, hereported that he had a friend whom he claimed was wrongfully accused of sexual abuse. He did not alert the Court about his bias. It is my understanding that it was his refusal to even consider that Chantry was guilty of those 4 counts that resulted in a mistrial.
Here is what he learned from Ms Eazer from Todd’s blog.
In speaking with Prosecutor Eazer after the case she told me that the jury had switched from 9-3 to 10-2 and one of the remaining 2 was leaning to voting guilty as well. She’s disappointed with the inability of the jurors to reach a guilty verdict on the remaining counts but is determined to retry the case and see that justice is done.
Susan Eazer plans to retry the 4 counts on which a consensus could not be met.
Given what we learned from the polling of the jury, I believe there is a high likelihood of his conviction on the other counts in the next go round. According to Wilhelm:
Susan Eazer said the State intends to retry Chantry on the counts the jury could not come to a concensus on. She also said the State intends to bring additional charges of sexual molestation against Chantry from a new victim.
There may be new charges against Chantry brought by a NEW victim, according to Wilhelm. During the trial, it was discovered that there was a police report alleging that Chantry had hurt another child. This evidence was received too late to be introduced into the trial. However, that report could be admitted in a retrial.
Here is copy of the memo submitted to the court which shows that Todd Wilhelm, once again exhibiting that he is a worthy recipient of the title TWW Official Hero, was the one who reported this information to the Court.
Here is a redacted copy of the police report obtained by the Court.
Where does that leave us?
I am thrilled with the verdict. I have been following this case since 2016. I believe it was TWW’s documentation of this case which led to despicable attacks from the supporters of Tom Chantry. I believe they were behind the letter that was sent to my church, to Duke University, etc. Thankfully the intellectual level of the letter was lacking and only served to embarrass the senders.
I also believe that the sickening attack on me by Frank Turk was due to my documentation of the charges surrounding Chantry. Apparently he was concerned that John MacArthur, who is now experiencing his own trials, might hear of his antics. Thank God he left social media after learning a hard lesson as to what constitutes actual libel.
What is it about Thomas Chantry that brings out the worst in people? It leads me to believe that there is a need for repentance by a fair number of leaders in ARBCA. How many of them knew about this? How many of them covered it up? How many of them gave the nod for the infamous letter sent to my church, my husband’s employer (Duke University), etc?
We have been posting about abuse in the church since 2009. We now have a great deal fo experience in assessing the claims of abuse. It was evident to us, right from the beginning, that Tom Chantry’s victims spoke in a truthful manner. We have a very good track record in this area. It was also obvious to us that the defenders of Tom Chantry were ill educated in the dynamics of sexual and physical abuse (as well as how to write a coherent letter…)
To those supporters from us:
We believed the victims in 2016 and we still believe the victims in 2018. On the other hand, we did not believe Chantry’s denials and we still don’t. We are pleased with the verdict of *guilty* on two charges and look forward to another trial in the future. Note to ARBCA: Maybe he should try for a plea in the next go round.