Jury deadlocked in incest case

A six-person jury was unable to reach a decision this week about the innocence or guilt of a teenage boy suspected of sexually assaulting his half-sister.

The boy was charged with aggravated incest.

Prosecutors have not decided whether to retry the case, said 6th Judicial District Attorney Todd Risberg.

“We plan to sit down with the victim and the family, look at the evidence, maybe talk with some jurors, and figure out the best way to go,” he said.

The trial started Monday and concluded about noon Tuesday. Jurors deliberated about eight hours before becoming deadlocked. The trial was overseen by District Judge Jeffrey Wilson.

The boy was accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with his 8-year-old half sister.

The girl reported the assaults July 18, 2012, in a handwritten letter to her mother.

The girl, who is now 9, took the witness stand Monday. She accused her half brother of touching her inappropriately, but she didn’t give specifics about the assaults.

The boy denied any wrongdoing. His public defense lawyers faulted prosecutors and law enforcement for failing to collect physical evidence, including a rape examination of the girl.