Brownstown man acquitted on child molesting charges



A Jackson Circuit Court jury acquitted a 45-year-old Brownstown man on two Level 4 felony counts of child molesting Friday afternoon.

That verdict in favor of Clayton Jon Hall was delivered by a 12-member jury after they deliberated for about three hours.

Hall, who was a substitute teacher for Seymour Community Schools, was accused of inappropriately touching and photographing three students at Cortland Elementary School in January 2016.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Hollingsworth tried the case for the state and presented testimony from six people.

Hall, who did not testify, was represented by Chief Public Defender Alan Marshall. No witnesses were called by the defense in the case presided over by Judge Richard W. Poynter.

After the verdict, Marshall said the jury was attentive, took notes and asked insightful questions.

“They probably asked the best collective set of questions after witness testimony that I’ve seen,” he said.

In his closing argument Friday morning, Marshall contended there were inconsistencies in the students’ stories and police came up short in the investigation.

Police were unable to find photographs despite multiple attempts during two searches of Hall’s home.

Hollingsworth said the case came down to the interpretation of the facts.

He said he was disappointed in the verdict but respected the jury’s decision.

“This is our judicial system,” Hollingsworth said. “It is beyond a reasonable doubt standard, and this time, the state came up a little bit shy on that.”

Marshall said Hall was pleased with the outcome and said the state argued the case well.

“We’re very pleased with the verdict,” he said. “The state had an argument, and they made it very good. Mark is a good attorney and tried it as good as anyone could’ve.”

Hall still has a case pending in Jackson County for a Level 5 felony charge of battery resulting in serious bodily injury after an alleged altercation with another inmate at the Jackson County Jail. A trial date has not been set in that matter.

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