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Accused Sex Offender Acquitted of Felony Charges

A jury reached a verdict Friday in the trial of a Marietta man accused of giving sexual materials to a 16-year-old girl.

Brian Ward was found not guilty on the felony charges, but guilty of two counts of disseminating material harmful to a juvenile.

Brian ward was described by the prosecution as someone who knew what he was doing in allowing sexual images involving minors on his computer while blaming others for it.

Mike Spahr, Prosecuting Attorney, said, "He had told Detective Meek (of the Marietta Police Department) that he had the images."

But that's exactly what ward's attorney said could have happened, pointing to testimony that a host of others, including teenagers, had access to his computer.

"What (the prosecution) wants (the jury) to do is to convict him because he's a man, and only a man would look at child pornography," said Rolf Baumgartel.

Prosecutor Spahr says a teenage girl victim testified of becoming suspicious of ward's behavior in providing her with sexual materials. Baumgartel says her motivation in testifying against him was his finding personal letters she wrote at her home.

Ward faces a maximum six months prison sentence on the charges on which he was convicted Friday.


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