Published: Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 10:49 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 12:51 PM
By: Breaking News Staff, Nancy Bowman
TROY — A mistrial was declared today in the Miami County rape trial of a convicted sex offender after jurors were questioned individually about seeing media reports on the case.
>>RELATED: Charles Hiser, accused of a child rape
The reports mentioned the prior conviction and the registered sex offender status of Charles Hiser, 37, of Troy who faces eight felony indictments of rape involving a minor. Lawyers in the case were not allowed to mention that conviction during trial through a pretrial ruling by Judge William Wolff Jr.
Hiser appeared showed no emotion in court as the decision came down.
A new trial is set for Nov. 1 and will include a new jury.
“We no longer have the ability to have an impartial jury,” said Steve Layman, public defender.
Wolff denied a motion to reduce Hiser's $550,000 bail in the meantime.
"At this time we feel the jury is simply not of the mind that the court, counsel can be satisfied that each and every one on this jury can be fair and impartial and disregard the out of court publicity about this case," Wolff told the jurors before sending them home.
Hiser pleaded not guilty to two charges alleging sexual contact with a person under age 10 and six counts alleging sexual contact and sexual conduct with a person under age 13 between February 2012 and late 2016 in Piqua and Troy.
Jurors heard testimony Tuesday and Wednesday. This morning, along with assistant prosecutor Janna Parker and defense lawyers Steve King and Steve Layman met with each juror in private discussions.
Jurors were instructed at the beginning of the trial to not view or read any information concerning a case. Comments in court following the juror questioning indicated at least three jurors saw or heard about the reports.