Charles Leaf found guilty on all counts in sexual assault case

A jury in northern New Jersey has found a former New York City television reporter guilty in a child molestation case. (2/20/14)

HACKENSACK - A jury in northern New Jersey has found a former New York City television reporter guilty in a child molestation case.

Charles Leaf's trial began last month in Hackensack. The former Fox 5 reporter was arrested in 2010 and charged with several offenses, including the aggravated sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl at his home in Wyckoff. He was also charged with possession of child pornography.

Jurors deliberated for seven hours before coming back from lunch to deliver a verdict finding Leaf guilty on all counts.           

READ MORE: New Jersey Crime Stories

The 21-day trial was filled with inconsistent testimony and drama from jurors.

During the trial, video showing the victim describing sexual encounters to a detective was shown, but when the now 8-year-old took the stand, she recanted and said that her nanny told her what to say.

Investigators had said they found child pornography on Leaf's computer, but his father-in-law testified the pornography was his.

Three jurors were dismissed for various reasons during the trial, which was delayed several times due to weather.

In the end, prosecutors made their case. Leaf was convicted of aggravated sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, hindering the investigation, possession of child pornography and tampering with evidence. He was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

The aggravated sexual assault charge carries a maximum 20-year prison term. Sentencing is scheduled for June 6.

 

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