Rev. David Woodall trial
HEATHER BOA News Now GODERICH – After six hours of deliberation, the jury in the trial of the ex-minister of Clinton’s Ontario Street United Church on sex-related charges was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
The seven women and five men of the jury were discharged late tonight in the trial of David Woodall, 57, who faces charges of sexual assault and touching a young person for sexual purposes while in a position of trust during a camping trip for the junior leaders while he was minister of Hyde Park United Church in August 2001.
On three occasions since deliberations began at 2:30 p.m., court was re-assembled when the jury sent hand-written questions to Justice Peter Hockin. Their final question at about 8:30 p.m. sought advice on what to do when they were no longer making progress in discussions.
Hockin encouraged them to return to the jury room for 45 minutes to decide whether it was worthwhile to continue discussions.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., court was assembled one last time, and the judge discharged the jury.
“This is an unfortunate development but that’s the way it goes, ” Hockins said.
The charges against Woodall remain outstanding and a new jury will be selected.
In September 2012, a jury found Woodall not guilty on four charges related to alleged sexual assaults on two male complainants who were young boys when a youth group sleepover was held at the Clinton United Church, formerly Ontario Street United Church, between 1991 and 1993. Woodall was the church’s minister from 1985 to 1994.
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