A man accused of criminal sexual conduct after a July 4 party in Eitzen last year was acquitted of two felony charges and one gross misdemeanor charge of criminal sexual misconduct by a Houston County Jury on Oct. 20.
Oliver Osvaldo Vera, 25, of Laredo, Texas, was convicted of a lesser fourth charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct stemming from the same incident and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Vera, a woman alleged that she was assaulted by him at her home following Eitzen Family Fun Days on July 4, 2016.
The woman stated that she had gone to sleep in her bedroom at her residence during the early morning hours of July 5 after the previous night’s celebrations. She was awakened later by a person who she identified as Vera performing a sex act on her, according to her complaint. If convicted, Vera would have faced up to fifteen years in prison.
Vera pleaded not guilty to the charges on April 27 of this year and a jury trial was commenced on Oct. 16. Following the week-long trial, and more than six hours of deliberation, Vera was acquitted of all the criminal sexual conduct charges on Oct. 20. However, he was convicted for misdemeanor disorderly conduct for committing an act that was “offensive, abusive or obscene.”
The case was prosecuted by the Houston County Attorney, Sam Jandt, who said in a statement that he was disappointed in the outcome but respected the jury’s decision. Kurt Knuesel, the Winona attorney who represented Vera, said his client was “looking forward to having his life back and putting this behind him.”
“While this was a difficult and emotionally charged case for everyone involved, I think that, in the end, the jury was able to see that the charges against Mr. Vera were not supported by the evidence,” Knuesel said in a statement.