A jury at the Howard County Circuit Courthouse began deliberating the fate of an Ellicott City barber just after noon Wednesday, the final day of his trial on charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old client.
Jung Gon Kim, 54, is the owner and sole employee of Sounds of Scissors Salon in Ellicott City. He faces one count of second-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault; a third charge was dropped Tuesday.
The lack of physical evidence is a sticking point in the case.
“I don’t know what I think,” a male alternate juror who did not want to be named said after his dismissal. “With the lack of evidence …”
The other alternate, a female who also did not want to be named, said that she would have needed to bounce ideas off of other jurors before she could be sure – beyond reasonable doubt, which is the legal benchmark for a guilty finding.
“We’ve got to use a lot of common sense,” she said.
Kim did not take the stand in his defense, but he did stand in front of the jury mid-way through his lawyer’s hour-long closing statements.
“Take a good, hard look at an innocent man,” Samuel Delgado told jurors.
State’s Attorney Jennifer Ritter encouraged jurors to use their “intuition” in making a decision.
“Apply your common sense in evaluating the evidence,” she told jurors. “[The accuser] has nothing to gain and yet he risks so much.”
Despite the lack of physical evidence, attempts at knocking down the accuser’s character and inconsistent testimony, both alternates said they were “leaning” toward a guilty finding.
“I’ll tell you what," the male alternate said as he left the courthouse, "I’m glad I didn’t have to be there, making a decision.”
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