CORUNNA — A 35th Circuit Court jury Tuesday acquitted Owosso resident Nathan Lott, who was accused of inappropriately touching a minor female family member.
The jury took just 31 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict of not guilty. Audible gasps were heard in the courtroom when the jury announced its verdict.
The alleged victim had to be escorted out of the courtroom following the announcement.
Family members of both Lott and the alleged victim were in attendance at the trial, which lasted all day Tuesday.
Lott’s family members embraced when 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart told Lott the court no longer had jurisdiction over him and Lott would be released from jail immediately.
Defense attorney Doug Corwin said he was surprised the verdict came back so quickly after Stewart gave the jury instructions and sent them to deliberate at 4:35 p.m.
“That’s the fastest I’ve had a jury come back,” Corwin said. “I don’t know why it was so quick. The prosecutor said it was about actions and that gave him (Lott) a leg up.”
Lott was charged with accosting a minor for immoral purposes and assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in December 2018 for incidents that allegedly occurred in April and May of 2018 and involved a now-13-year-old victim. The Argus-Press does not typically identify sexual abuse victims.
He was arrested Dec. 17, 2018, and arraigned the same day by 66th District Court Judge Ward Clarkson; he pleaded not guilty.
Clarkson set bond at $250,000. Online court records do not indicate whether Lott eventually posted bond.
The alleged incidents involved the victim’s claims that Lott had come home drunk and attempted to “put his hands down her pants,” according to assistant prosecutor Scott Koerner.
“A horrific event happened to her,” Koerner said in his opening statement. “She was mortified and ran from the room.”
Corwin, in his arguments, said “false allegations are horrible. They destroy families.”
“Nathan Lott is not a monster,” Corwin continued. “You will hear (the victim’s) story and that’s exactly what it is. She made the accusation so she could go live with (another family member).”
Lott, who took the stand in his defense, denied any inappropriate actions on his part, and said the allegations were false, and were the result of the alleged victim wanting to go live with another family member.
“Only a sick individual would commit these things being alleged,” he said on the witness stand.