Testimony of Former Police Officer Helped to Sway Jurors in Trial of Former Juvenile Prison Principal

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A juror in the trial of a former juvenile prison principal acquitted of sexually abusing inmates says an ex-police officer on the panel helped sway many who initially believed the defendant was guilty.

Nancy Gray said Tuesday the officer “did a lot of talking” about reasonable doubt and that most of the eight who first believed John Paul Hernandez was guilty changed their minds. Gray said she was the last holdout.

The case lacked physical evidence to the alleged abuse, which Gray said the Lubbock County jurors felt they needed to find Hernandez guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

She said jurors believed the ex- principal’s accusers when they testified.

Hernandez was acquitted of 14 counts in 11 indictments, including sexual assault. A conviction carried up to 20 years in prison.

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