2nd trial in Miami County child rape case ends in hung jury

Charles Hiser, right, seated at the defense table in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this year. STEVE BAKER/STAFF

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Charles Hiser, right, seated at the defense table in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this year. STEVE BAKER/STAFF

The second trial in the child rape case of Charles Hiser, 37, of Troy ended in a hung jury.

Jurors in Miami County Common Pleas Court sent a note to Judge Christopher Gee around 2:45 p.m. Friday saying they were unable to agree on a verdict. The jury foreman told the judge a short time later in court that additional deliberations would not likely end the disagreement.

EARLIER: Mistrial declared in case against man accused of child rape

Earlier Friday deliberations were interrupted by a family emergency of a juror who was replaced by an alternate juror. The jury deliberated 4½ hours Thursday followed by around six hours on Friday. They were told after the alternate juror arrived that deliberations needed to start from scratch.

Lawyers for the prosecution and defense declined comment after the hung jury was declared.

Hiser, 37, faces eight felony rape charges for alleged sexual contact and sexual conduct with a person under age 10 and then under age 13 between February 2012 and late 2016 in Piqua and Troy.

Gee said a pretrial hearing will be held Wednesday, Dec. 20, to determine the next steps in the case.

Hiser will remain in jail in lieu of $550,000 bail.

EARLIER: Victim says sex abuse happened more times than she could count

Gee said he would consider a request for a reduced bond next week.

Public defender Steve Layman asked for reduced bail or a recognizance bond for Hiser, saying he had been jailed since Feb. 9. Layman said Hiser was willing to follow whatever conditions were set by the court. “It is difficult. He has been incarcerated quite some time.”

Janna Parker, assistant county prosecutor, opposed the request for reduced bail. She cited the “severe nature” of the allegations and the possible penalty faced by Hiser, if convicted.

A trial in October ended in a mistrial after some jurors said they had seen or heard about media accounts of the case.

Hiser is a registered sex offender following a 2007 conviction for misdemeanor sexual imposition. The jury was not permitted to hear that information.

In closing statements Thursday, Parker said the girl may have said she assumed why the sexual acts began and could not provide specific dates and times for the alleged acts, but that is not unusual for sexual assault victims.

“There were no assumptions as to what happened between her and the defendant. She was very clear it happened too many times to count,” Parker said.

Layman said there was not an objective fact finding process followed in the investigation by police, who he argued displayed a lack of effort.

“Charles was assumed guilty from moment of disclosure. Why didn’t they dig deeper?” Layman said.

He questioned why corroborating evidence was not sought about allegations that he said could have been fabricated.

Parker said the girl’s account, if believed by the jury, told the story. “She is worth listening to,” she said.

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