BLOOMINGTON -- A 19-year-old man has been acquitted of criminal sexual assault of a teenage girl who also has accused the man's father and brother of molesting her.
Michael Ramey was found not guilty of the charges after about four hours of deliberation by a McLean County jury.
Ramey's 20-year-old brother, Jonathan Ramey, was acquitted by a jury in November. Larry Ramey, the father of the two brothers, is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 14
on sexual assault charges regarding the victim,
who was under 18 when the alleged assault is said to have occurred.
The Rameys reside in McLean.
Stephanie Wong, defense attorney for the brothers, said after the verdict Thursday that "the state has the burden of coming forward with evidence, and that means they are obligated to work with law enforcement to conduct a diligent investigation.
"The prosecution's decision to immediately file a charge that will brand a 17-year-old as a child sex offender for life is too great a risk to take when they have opted not to undertake any investigation after nothing more than receiving a statement from the complainant and the accused, who are two years in age apart," she said.
Assistant State's Attorney Suzanne Geller countered that "a thorough investigation into the allegation was conducted. Sheriff's department detectives
questioned several individuals and gathered many statements that corroborated the victim's disclosure."
The several hours of deliberation suggest that the testimony related to allegations of forcible assault "had significant merit," said the prosecutor.