Soldier found guilty of child molestation

On Thursday evening the trial of Christopher Bates came to a close after hours of deliberation by the jury in Riley county District Court.

Jurors came back with two verdicts out of the six counts Bates was facing in the trial. All of the counts were tied to  incidents allegedly occurring in the summer of 2013, and four of the charges ended in the jury informing the court that they couldn’t reach a verdict.  According to both sides of the case it was a tale of two families joined by a friendship between Bates, and the victim’s father.  The friendship came to a halt after Victim A gave her mother a letter stating Bates had assaulted her the previous night.

Christopher Bates was found not guilty of charge number two which involved an alleged incident off aggravated indecent liberties with Victim A.  The jury also rendered a guilty verdict in connection to a later incident involving Victim A with the charges also being aggravated indecent liberties with a child under 14 years of age.

After the verdict was given on Thursday evening Bates’s wife erupted in tears, and was consoled by other members of the  family.  Riley County District Attorney Barry Wilkerson asked Judge David L. Stutzman to revoke Bates’s bond of $50,000.  However, Judge Stutzman refused, and listed Bates’s record of showing up on time as one of the mitigating factors in his decision.  Judge Stutzman did warn Bates that it “was not a good idea” to not appear at the appointed times, and is requiring Bates to check in weekly until he is taken into custody.

According to D.A. Wilkerson the guilty verdict is an off the grid item, and could land Bates in prison for life.

During the closing arguments Defense Attorney implored the jury to use common sense, and the ways of the world to assess the situation.  McRell pointed out that the whole time Bates’s story had not changed, and Bates has always maintained his innocence.

Wilkerson and Assisting County Attorney Kendra Lewison closed by stating that Bates was guilty, and had “an enormous amount of access” to the victim.  Wilkerson followed the defenses statements by calling on the jury to listen to the testimony offered by Victim A and Victim B, and if they believe them to find Bates guilty.

All charges related to Victim B were under the umbrella of the four counts in which the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

Bates is set for a pre-sentencing hearing on 24, September 2014 at 11:00 a.m, and was released until then on a $50,000 bond.

 

Christopher Bates

Christopher Bates