DECATUR — Kelly J. Hunter was found not guilty by a jury Thursday of a charge he sexually assaulted a woman in Decatur while children younger than 10 watched.

After a trial that began Wednesday in Macon County Circuit Court, the jury took 2½ hours Thursday morning to find the 47-year-old who lives in Moweaqua not guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault involving bodily harm.

But the jury did return guilty verdicts on one count of domestic battery and another count of domestic battery involving bodily harm. Judge Phoebe Bowers scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 4. and over the objections of public defender Scott Rueter, revoked Hunter’s bond, placing him in the custody of the Macon County Jail.

The case, dating to Aug. 7 and concerning events that happened at a house on Decatur's near-northside, was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz. She said the woman told police she had been shoved and punched by Hunter after he returned from work in a bad mood.

Kurtz said the alleged sexual assault had been aimed at degrading the woman “in the most offensive way.”

But Rueter told jurors they must weigh what they’re told carefully and just because an act is described does not mean it happened. He also highlighted a lack of DNA evidence to back up the sexual assault claim and pointed out that the woman’s only physical injury was a “slight redness” on her skin that was gone by the time she was examined by a doctor.

“What I ask is that you listen to all the evidence,” Rueter had told the jury in his opening statement. “Listen to it all to determine the credibility of the witnesses and the credibility of the story they are telling you.”

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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