FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- A jury member involved in the acquittal of Pacific University’s vice president of finance, Mike Mallery, on child sex abuse charges said he’s confident in the not guilty verdict, although it was a difficult decision.
“I teared up in court. It was, it was a really tough, trying trial,” the juror, who didn't want to be identified, said. “I’m not able to say (the children) haven’t been through a hard time. I’m just not able to say with complete confidence that their allegations of abuse were just or true. A child’s mind is malleable.”
The juror agreed with the defense attorney’s argument that it wasn’t a coincidence the accusations came around the same time as a family dispute. The juror said there was also a lack of other evidence.
“Most of what sticks with me in this is that children are delicate and they can be influenced,” he said. “I feel I made the right decision, and I feel, and I would hope, other jurors also made their best judgment as well.”
Pacific University Response
A Pacific University spokesperson, Joe Lang, said leaders there consider this a “personal matter” that is now over. They’re working with Mallery to figure out when he’ll return to work. They have not sent out any notifications to students.
“I thought it was pretty disgusting. It brought up a Jerry Sandusky kind of vibe,” said student Reed Feldman. “I just think it's a bad image for our university.”
While students like Feldman worry about Mallery’s return and the impact on the school, many other students KATU spoke with have never heard of Mallery or the child sex abuse case.
Still, a student editor for the campus newspaper said many students are shocked.
“I think he knows coming back that eyes are on him,” said Pacific Index Multimedia Editor Kathleen Rhodes, who said university leaders have said they continue to support him. “I think what he does here is very separate from his personal life.”
KATU News tried to reach Mallery and his attorney but did not hear back. The Washington County deputy district attorney who argued the case said he respects the jury’s decision, although he was surprised by it. He said child sex abuse cases are often difficult since there isn’t much evidence other than the child’s word.