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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Sex-assault verdict 'took a lot of courage'

By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer

A member of the jury that returned a partial acquittal in the Daniel Jones sex assault trial said yesterday that the panel did show courage in the case.

Roy Camara was responding to a critical statement Friday by the families of the five girls who accused Jones of molesting them. The families said the jury did not show the "courage" that the girls did in stepping forward in the case.

"It took a lot of courage for us to make this call," Camara said.

Camara, 50, a Kailua resident, said the panel wasn't against the girls, but the evidence and testimony to warrant a guilty verdict "just wasn't there."

Camara and the other jurors sat through three weeks of trial and nearly nine days of deliberations. He said the jurors sacrificed their time, their wages and their emotions.

"It took a lot of courage for us to tell them, we hear what you're saying, we think we know what's happening, but again, you need to provide us with the testimony and evidence that would help us," he said.

Jones, 21, a former dance instructor at an 'Aiea dance studio, was accused of molesting five students in 2004 and 2005. The jury found him not guilty of 12 of the 18 counts, acquitting him of molesting three of the girls.

The panel could not reach a verdict on six other counts involving two girls, although two of the jurors said the panel was leaning toward acquittal on those charges.

The girls are now 14 and 15.

The retrial is scheduled for Aug. 28.

Reach Ken Kobayashi at kkobayashi@honoluluadvertiser.com.