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A jury found Shae Dee Mitchell of Albany not guilty of sex abuse late Friday afternoon after a three-day trial and a full day of deliberation at the Linn County Courthouse.

The jury came in with its verdict at 6:15 p.m. Friday.

Mitchell had been accused of three counts of first-degree sex abuse and one count of second-degree sex abuse. The crimes were alleged to have occurred from 2014 to early 2016. The investigation into the case started in June 2016.

“It began then because the girl first spoke to a friend about what had happened to her,” prosecutor George Eder said, during opening arguments. The friend’s mother then notified authorities after she became aware of the allegations.

Joan Demarest, Mitchell’s defense attorney, said that the victim's story changed significantly over time depending on who she was talking with and the outcome she was seeking.

Demarest added that justice was served, and that the jury deserves the credit.

"We had an excellent jury," she said. "They worked hard and deliberated carefully and they came to the right conclusion."

Eder said the the verdict reached showed the state fell short of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

"I accept the verdict," he said.

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Contact reporter Neil Zawicki at 541-812-6099 or neil.zawicki@lee.net

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Courts Reporter