Mistrial declared in sexual assault case - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Mistrial declared in sexual assault case


RUSK COUNTY - Just one day into a major sexual assault trial, a mistrial is declared.

The trial for Michael Fodness started Monday. Fodness, from Chippewa Falls, is accused of sexually assaulting five teenaged girls in Dunn County.

The trial was expected to take seven days, but this morning the judge granted a defense motion for a mistrial. Assistant D.A. Andrew Maki says he mistakenly played a portion of an interview for jurors where an alleged victim talks about Fodness' criminal record.

The judge ruled that was prejudicial against Fodness and the jury should not have heard it. Since the trial had been moved to Rusk County, the Dunn County clerk of courts says the canceled trial will cost Dunn County about $5,000.

Maki says he fully intends to re-try Fodness. A hearing to talk about a new trial date will be held in two weeks.

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