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Published: Tuesday, 11/11/2003

New trial ordered in sex assault

BOWLING GREEN - A Findlay man serving a one-year prison sentence for sexual battery will get a new trial because the 6th District Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the prosecutor did not give a gender-neutral explanation for excusing four potential female jurors before the trial.

James Arnold was sentenced to prison in February by Wood County Common Pleas Judge Reeve Kelsey and ordered to register as a sexual offender for 10 years. The sexual battery charge stemmed from Arnold s alleged 2001 sexual assault on a female acquaintance, a student at Bowling Green State University. Arnold was an Ashland University student at that time.

Authorities said he visited the victim, provided alcohol, and sexually assaulted her.

The decision states that the “trial court s failure to require the prosecutor to provide a gender-neutral explanation for his exclusion of prospective jurors violated both appellant s and prospective jurors constitutional right to nondiscriminatory jury selection.”

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