Hung jury results in mistrial in the sexual abuse case against local chess instructor (UPDATE)
UPDATE: The Delaware County Prosecutor's Office will re-try chess instructor F. Leon Wilson on sexual abuse charges after a hung jury in his first trial.
A date for the retrial has not been set.
A Delaware County jury was not able to reach a verdict in the case of a chess coach accused of sexually abusing two young students.
The jury spent most of Friday and Monday trying to decide the fate of F. Leon Wilson, 62.
Wilson taught chess at numerous schools around central Ohio.
A four year old said he touched her sexually over her clothes during class at Prep Academy in Lewis Center.
A 7 year old said Lewis did the same to her at Maryland Elementary in Bexley.
Wilson was arrested in April 2015 and charged with three counts of Gross Sexual Imposition.
Each charge carries a maximum of five years in prison, along with two-year school zone specifications.
Wilson faced a total possible sentence of 21 years in prison.
On the stand Thursday, the 62 year old told jurors he never touched either of the girls inappropriately.
His defense attorney argued there was no evidence, and no witnesses, to support the girls’ claims.
The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office pointed to the similarities between the accusations of the two girls, who had never met.
After three days of emotional testimony, and two days of deliberations, a jury was not able to reach a conclusion about Wilson's guilt or innocence.
Monday afternoon Judge Everett Krueger declared a mistrial.
Wilson called the outcome disappointing.
Asked whether he felt vindicated in any way, he answered, “Absolutely not. Acquittal- not guilty- is the only vindication that I'm seeking.”
A supporter of Wilson’s also expressed disappointment.
"He taught my daughter chess when she was in fourth, fifth, sixth grade. And I have nothing but positive things to say about his character,” Ann Mandic said. "It's incredible to me. It could have been me. It could have been you. It could have been anyone. There's no evidence."
The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office said it will consult with the families of Wilson's accusers before deciding whether or not to retry the case.