OTTAWA — Continental resident Michael T. Huizenga was found not guilty on seven counts of rape and four counts of gross sexual imposition Friday after jurors deliberated for 4 1/2 hours.
The trial began Monday, with a jury of seven men and five women participating in the proceedings this week.
Todd Schroeder, assistant prosecutor for the state, announced before Thursday’s trial was to begin that a medical emergency had made that day’s proceedings impossible. Huizenga appeared during Monday through Wednesday’s trial with his attorney E. Charles Bates, but was not present Thursday or Friday.
Jurors on Friday heard closing arguments from Huizenga’s attorney E. Charles Bates and Schroeder.
“This is Michael Huizenga’s only opportunity to have these accusations heard and his only opportunity for you to consider his fate,” Bates said. “As jurors, your responsibility is to do justice and act fairly. There is no forensic evidence and I ask you to not fall into a half cup of justice. It’s all or nothing.”
The victim reported the abuse started in 2013, but she only recently disclosed it to a teacher. The jury spent the week listening to witnesses on both sides, including Huizenga himself and family members.
“There is nothing to prove because I didn’t do it,” Huizenga said Wednesday in court.