The jury in the case of a Delaware County chess teacher accused of inappropriately touching students will resume deliberations today after it reached an impasse Friday afternoon and was sent home.
The jury in the Delaware County Common Pleas Court trial of F. Leon Wilson, 62, of 2785 Castlewood Road, Columbus, began deliberating Friday at 10:22 a.m. after hearing closing arguments from Assistant Delaware County Prosecutors Mark Sleeper and Doug Dumolt as well as defense attorney Bradley Koffel for about 90 minutes.
Judge Everett Krueger received a note from the jury at about 3:30 p.m. and, after completing several other hearings in his courtroom, he brought the jury back into the courtroom. Krueger said he learned the jury was at an impasse and, rather than keep them there to continue deliberating, he said he would send them home and bring them back Monday morning to continue deliberating.
The jury is deliberating on whether Wilson is guilty of three counts of gross sexual imposition, which are third-degree felonies. The trial began Tuesday and both sides rested Thursday afternoon. One of the two alleged victims testified and Wilson took the stand to defend himself Thursday. Wilson is accused of touching the girls in a sexual manner in 2015.
Wilson and his attorneys have maintained his innocence since his arrest in April 2015 and Wilson testified that he had not ever touched students.
Prosecutors said the alleged victims are a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl who were taking Wilson’s after-school chess class at Prep Academy in Polaris and Maryland Elementary in Bexley respectively.
Parents of the alleged victims testified and said the investigation began after the 4-year-old made a comment about her teacher touching her lap during class. The parents of the 7-year-old testified that they saw a news report about Wilson and contacted police.
Both children were interviewed at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Center by specialists. Both students told the interviewer that their chess teacher touched their vaginas and the 4-year-old also said he touched her buttocks.
Koffel has questioned the integrity of these interviews and brought in an expert witness to discuss the issues with interviewing children in cases like this.
The jury, comprised of six men and six women, will resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. today.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.