FORT LAUDERDALE(CBS4)- A Plantation man accused of fondling preteen girls at Quiet Waters Park in the summer of 2009 was acquitted Tuesday in the first of two trials stemming from the allegations.
Corey Hipscher, 39, not-guilty verdict came down Tuesday evening. The jury of five men and one woman deliberated for less than two hours, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Hipscher was accused by a Boca Raton girl who was 10-years-old at the time. The girl claimed that Hipscher rubbed her between her legs as she boarded a boat at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach on July 21, 2009, the Sentinel reported. He was a working as a park attendant at the time.
Hipscher had taken the girl and her cousin on a ride, pulling them behind the boat in a flotation device, prosecutors said.
Jurors also heard from two girls who made a similar allegation against Hipscher, accusing him of doing the same thing to them two weeks earlier. The girls, sisters, were 7 and 8 years old at the time.
Hipscher will stand trial for the accusations raised by those girls at a future date, according to the Sentinel.
Hipscher’s defense lawyers, Paul Molle and Michael Hursey, told the jury that the girls misinterpreted his innocent contact, as he was simply trying to help them back onto the boat.
Jurors evidently agreed, despite the insistence of prosecutor Joseph Zager, who said there would be no need for Hipscher to move his fingers over a girl’s genitals if his intentions were anything but lewd and lascivious.
Testimony in the case ended Tuesday morning. Hipscher did not testify and the defense did not call any witnesses.
“The system worked,” Hursey said outside the courtroom. “Jurors heard the evidence and came to the only sensible conclusion.”
Prosecutor Maryanne Braun, who tried the case with Zager, said she was disappointed with the verdict but prepared to go forward with the second case.
Hipscher remains in custody as the second trial approaches. Broward Circuit Judge Martin Bidwill said he hopes for the trial to begin by the end of September.
Several members of Hipscher’s family were in court for the reading of the verdict. They declined to comment.
Hipscher was convicted in 2003 of sexual battery in a case involving an adult victim who was his girlfriend at the time.
In 2009, he was working not as a county employee at Quiet Waters, but for a contract vendor at the park. After his arrest, the county tightened its screening process for workers and contractors at public parks, according to the Sentinel.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Sun Sentinel contributed material for this report)