"Man to be retried after hung jury in case alleging child rape, molestation"

DAVID ALLEN, attorney

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND -- A second trial on child rape and molestation charges has been scheduled for a Port Townsend man after a Jefferson County jury failed to reached a verdict.

Harold Peacock, 69, is scheduled for retrial at 9 a.m. Monday, July 12, in Jefferson County Superior Court, 1820 Jefferson St., Port Townsend.

Peacock was tried on two counts of rape of a child in the first degree and three counts of child molestation in the first degree.

On May 11, a jury said that it was unable to reach a verdict.

Seven juried members favored acquittal and five voted that he was guilty, said one of the jurors, Steve Oakford.

"The prosecution was unable to prove its case," said Peacock's attorney, David Allen. "It is a waste of money and resources for them to go ahead with this case."

Prosecuting Attorney Juelie Dalzell disagreed. "We have three kids on the record who say he did this, so we are moving forward."

Peacock bailed out of the Jefferson County jail, and is living at home under a monitoring agreement.

Peacock also is charged with one count of assault on a child but that is to be tried separately.

"The molestation charges were more serious so we decided to try them first," said Deputy Prosecutor Scott Rosekrans. "We will try him for assault, which he admitted on the stand during the last trial," Rosekrans said. "He admitted that he spanked one of the kids too hard."

The assault trial has not been scheduled and will follow the next trial, Rosekrans said.

Rosekrans said he generally conducts further research before retrying a case.

"I have already talked to four jurors to see what problems they may have had with the case," he said. "After that, I make adjustments."

Oakford, who was referred by Allen to the Peninsula Daily News, said that he was one of those voting for acquittal.

"The witnesses had to be coached constantly," he said. "I didn't believe that the abuse happened how she said it did, but happened at an earlier time."

On the other hand, Oakford said that Peacock was a convincing witness.

"He represented himself very well even under cross examination," Oakford said.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at the time of Peacock's arrest:

Deputies said that one of five children at Peacock's home had said that he had beaten him.

The ages and genders of all the children were not available, but the reports included a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy who referred to the alleged victim as his "little brother" and at least one 13-year-old.

Deputies found bruising, welts and scratches on the child.

The five children told deputies that a few of them had watched the beating and that Peacock had struck a second child.

On June 18, deputies interviewed one of the children who told them Peacock had molested her for about three years between 2003 and 2007.

Peacock was charged in court with assault on June 18 and with molestation and rape charges on June 22.

Rosekrans said at the time that the five children had been removed from the home.

He said that only three of them testified at the last trial because the others were not witnesses.

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