McAllister Guilty of Misdemeanor, Beats Felony Charge | Off Message

McAllister Guilty of Misdemeanor, Beats Felony Charge


Norm McAllister in court Friday - RYAN MERCER/BURLINGTON FREE PRESS
  • Ryan Mercer/Burlington Free Press
  • Norm McAllister in court Friday
Updated at 10:59 p.m.

A jury found former state senator Norm McAllister guilty of one misdemeanor count of prohibited acts involving prostitution Friday, but not guilty of a felony sexual assault charge and a second charge of prohibited acts.

The verdict came at 9:45 p.m. after more than three hours of deliberation. Earlier Friday, the man who formerly represented Franklin County in the legislature had surprised many by taking the witness stand to defend himself in a case that involved graphic testimony.

McAllister left the courthouse with his attorney, Bob Katims. They said that they would appeal the conviction, which could carry a sentence of up to one year in prison. No sentencing date was set.

McAllister was found guilty of arranging for a friend to have sex with a woman who lived in a trailer on his Franklin County farm. That was for money to cover the cost of her power bill, for which she had gotten behind, the woman testified.

 McAllister appeared relieved by the verdict, even though it didn't completely go his way.

"At least the jury got to hear my side and obviously they believed most of it," McAllister said outside the courtroom after the verdict.

He added: "I feel pretty well vindicated. I wish it had been a clean sweep."

Despite the conviction, Katims said, "We're happy."

Heath McAllister, the senator's son, said the legal system was broken.

"Anyone who believes this woman for a second is nuts," he said about the victim.

McAllister had denied that he arranged for the sex during the trial, and also denied the other allegations he had faced.

Here's McAllister talking to reporters as he left the courthouse:

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