A rural Wakeman resident's defense attorney wants to make it clear his client was acquitted of masturbating at the Vermilion middle school.
Billy H. McCauley, 66, of 10407 Angling Road, was charged with public indecency in connection with a Sept. 11 suspected incident near Sailorway Middle School. On May 2, a Vermilion Municipal Court jury acquitted McCauley of the second-degree misdemeanor after hearing two days of testimony.
"The jury returned a verdict shortly after it was adjourned to decide the case. Two people who were part of the jury pool, but were not selected as jurors, and who remained in the courtroom so that they could listen to the testimony, also were convinced that Mr. McCauley had not committed the offense," defense attorney Patrick Farrell said in a prepared statement released Thursday.
McCauley didn't testify, but his daughter and a bus driver, both of whom were in a nearby parking lot, took the stand.
"There was no reason to put him (on the stand) for that," Farrell said about his client.
When asked about the lapse of time between his statement and the acquittal, Farrell told the Reflector it had to do with the options McCauley had after the trial and said a lawsuit against the city of Vermilion is "being contemplated."
A 12-year-old boy accused McCauley of "playing with himself" in a vehicle while school was letting out. Vermilion police officers responded to the scene.
The boy alleged McCauley's shorts were down and his shirt was pulled up to his belly button while he reportedly was "massaging" his penis, police said. The student was walking across a parking lot toward his mother's car at the time.
The boy told his mother, who left her car and approached McCauley's vehicle, where she allegedly saw the suspect reclining "with his shorts pulled up higher on one side and his shirt still pulled up to his belly button," police said. The mother then reportedly told a crossing guard to "keep an eye" on the suspect while she contacted school officials and police.
"I don't think he ever did it. That was manufactured by the child's mother," Farrell said.
Judging from the testimony, McCauley's attorney said it appeared the boy's "mother was pushing this."
Farrell accused Detective Dean Mayer, who investigated the case, of saying it was easier to charge McCauley with public indecency "than dealing with the child's mother." He also accused the investigator of making statements in his report that weren't consistent with what the boy said.
McCauley, when the detective interviewed him at home, admitted to being at the school to pick up his grandchild, but denied masturbating or having his pants down.
"He stated that it was warm, but he didn't want to use his AC, so he rolled the windows down, opened the car door slightly and rolled his shirt up on his stomach," according to the police report.
Farrell said "many news agencies" reported this story about his client between Sept. 26 through 29. The defense attorney said he wants the media to know "Mr. McCauley did not engage in this type of activity."
McCauley was arrested Sept. 26 and brought to the Vermilion police station.
"The very nature of the charges against Mr. McCauley, and the surrounding publicity, created a great deal of stress and anxiety for Mr. McCauley and his family. The acquittal, although coming as a great relief to Mr. McCauley and his family, cannot rectify the embarrassment and humiliation he and his family suffered as a result of the mere allegation," Farrell said in the prepared statement.
"The McCauleys would like to express their gratitude to all of their supporters in the community, their church, places of employment and other friends and family (who) continued to provide support and comfort to them during a very stressful time," he said.