posted on January 17, 2012 18:35
Erik Roth of Elba, accused of sexually abusing two young girls as young as 3 and 6-years-old, was acquitted on all charges Tuesday in Genesee County Court.
The 42-year-old Roth, from Elba, was found not guilty on two counts of Sexual Abuse and one count of Course of Criminal Sexual Conduct. The verdict came nearly two weeks after Roth's 2-day non-jury trial ended in County Court.
Roth had been accused of abusing the young girls in an investigation dating back to 2005. During his testimony at trial, Roth outlined a number of marital troubles that had driven him to drinking and violence during the time of the alleged abuse. But in an emotional statement on the stand, Roth maintained that he "would never hurt those girls, not in that way." Roth expressly, repeatedly denied any sexual abuse against the two young alleged victims.
The purported victims in the case also testified during the trial, but their accounts came roughly six years after the alleged abuse happened. Defense attorney Ben Bonarigo attempted to discredit their testimony, stating that a 3-year-old victim would be too young to remember any such abuse at a later age. And Bonarigo claimed the alleged 6-year-old victim's testimony didn't always add up.
Bonarigo declined comment after the verdict Tuesday. Erik Roth was unavailable to speak with media.