Man accused of molestation won’t be tried a third time

An Everett man accused of child molestation and who twice faced juries will not have to go before another one, prosecutors said Monday.

A criminal third-degree child molestation charge against Jerry Lee Ferguson, 43, of Everett has been dismissed, deputy prosecutor George Appel said.

Appel twice brought Ferguson, a popular karate instructor, to trial, and neither jury could reach a unanimous decision, which is required in a criminal case. Mistrials were declared because of both hung juries. In both cases, juries were leaning 8-4 in favor of acquittal.

In an affidavit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court by Appel, he said “the possibility of improving the result significantly in a third trial is outweighed by the cost of a trial, in my view.”

Guss Markwell, Ferguson’s attorney, said he’s glad his client won’t have to go to court again.

“It seems like a third trial would be pointless,” Markwell said Monday. “We’d rather have had 12 people come out and say he’s not guilty.”

In either case, the mere fact a criminal charge was brought is tough on his client, Markwell said.

He was charged in May 2003 with sexually touching a 15-year-old girl, who was the daughter of his girlfriend in 2001.

When Ferguson and the woman separated, Markwell argued in court that it was a bitter parting that led to the accusation.

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