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MAYVILLE, NY (WNY News Now) — Jury deliberations are expected to get underway in the trial prosecuting a Chautauqua County man accused of raping and sexually assaulting several children.
The prosecution and defense laid out their closing arguments Thursday before a jury deciding the fate of Dustin Post.
The 27-year-old faces several felonies surrounding the alleged sexual assault and rape of children.
Throughout the course of this trial, we’ve heard from his victims, including an 11-year-old who testified to Post’s alleged acts.
Specifically, that the Silver Creek resident, during his sister’s birthday party, took the then six-year-old up to his bedroom, blindfolding her for a “game” where the sexual abuse occurred. The youth testified that Post showed her video he captured of the sexual act.
Once the party concluded, Post took the girl home only after making a stop at a local hiking trail where he once again allegedly sexually assaulted her.
She was one, of a handful of young innocent victims who came forward with allegations.
Post’s Attorney, Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone, asked the jury during closing arguments if they are able to separate emotion from fact, saying that while the prosecution’s case outlined gruesome details, evidence and testimony, he argues it doesn’t go beyond a responsible doubt.
Barone, highlighted the role of the six-year-old’s mother who, barely knew Post, let her child go with him to the party. The mother testified that she didn’t even know where in Silver Creek her daughter was at the time of the gathering.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, doubled down on the amount of evidence laid out over the course of this trial.
While alone each is just a piece of the puzzle, DA Jason Schmidt says together from interviews with police to video recordings of the sexual assaults allegedly captured by Post, a burden of proof is achieved.
Specifically, Schmidt highlighted Post’s interview with New York State Police in Fredonia, where he handed over video and allegedly admitted to acts of sexual abuse.
Schmidt outlined what he believes was Post admitting to the crimes, saying that detectives did not lead Post on but rather, listened and respected his honesty in opening up.
Within his right, Post did not testify this week. The judge reminded the jury that taking the fifth did not signify an admittance of guilt.
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