FARMINGTON — A Franklin County jury Wednesday found a New Sharon man guilty of sexually assaulting a boy for 11 years.
Paul D. Tracy, 45, was found guilty of 11 counts of gross sexual assault and 11 counts of unlawful sexual contact, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson said. The jury deliberated for more than four and a half hours.
Each sexual assault conviction carries up to 10 years in prison. Each unlawful sexual touching conviction carries up to five years.
Tracy was taken to jail after the jury reached the verdict, Robinson said. No date was set for sentencing, but there was talk of setting a date for early November, he said.
The jury began deliberating at about 1 p.m. and reached a verdict shortly after 5:30 p.m.
Tracy, who was in the Air National Guard and served around the country and overseas for up to six months during some of the years listed in court records, was indicted in 2008 on the 22 sex-related counts and had pleaded not guilty.
Each count represented a calendar year for incidents that occurred from 1997 to 2007 in Industry, Robinson told the jury during his closing statements.
Prior to the jury getting the case, Justice Michaela Murphy denied a motion to acquit him on all charges. Tracy’s lawyer, Walter McKee, said the state had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Tracy sexually assaulted or molested the boy.
Murphy said she took into account the testimony of the boy and family members, and she believed there was significant evidence that the jury could find Tracy guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Robinson wrapped up the state’s case Wednesday morning after two expert witnesses testified about evidence collected at Tracy’s residence and DNA found on some of those items.
Robinson told the jurors in his closing statement that they were the only ones who could hold Tracy accountable.
The victim’s testimony described years of abuse that he said occurred at least once a year, Robinson said. The gross sexual assault involved oral sex; the unlawful contact was based on touching.
Imagine what it took for the boy to come forward and describe the details of “incredibly horrific events” to a group of people, Robinson said.
“When you look at the body of evidence together, it is overwhelming,” he said.
The victim and family members testified that when Tracy was confronted, he told the boy he was sorry for hurting him. They testified that Tracy referred to himself as an animal and a monster, Robinson said.
Defense lawyer McKee told the jury that though they may have seen some items that they didn’t want to see and that might have disgusted them during the trial that began Tuesday, it didn’t prove that his client molested the boy.
No one but the victim came forward to say the assaults happened, McKee said. No one else saw it, he said.
The boy decided to disclose the allegations when Tracy did something he didn’t like and made him angry, McKee said. He told the jurors they would have to find Tracy not guilty.
It takes a unanimous verdict to find a person guilty in a criminal trial.