Urbana man acquitted in sexual molestation trial

Urbana man acquitted in sexual molestation trial

URBANA — An Urbana man accused of sexually molesting a young girl in his care has been acquitted.

A Champaign County jury deliberated about three hours Wednesday before returning its verdict in the case of Donald Belanger, 54.

Belanger had been charged with a single count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for an act that allegedly occurred with a girl in his home on Pfeffer Road some time between January and June 2010.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris. Belanger was represented by Champaign attorney Dan Jackson. Judge Heidi Ladd presided over the two-day trial.

Because the girl, who was under 13 at the time, did not report the incident to the Champaign County sheriff's office until more than a year after it allegedly happened, there was no physical evidence,

Both attorneys agreed the case hinged on the believability of the witnesses.

Belanger has been free on bond since the criminal charge was filed in November 2011.

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auntsonyas wrote on August 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Because there was no physical evidence? There was no physical evidence in the Sandusky trial, either. Shame on that jury, and shame on Judge Heidi for instructing them so poorly. If we don't listen to children, why should they ever report these crimes against them? Donald Belanger will continue to roam free and do whatever he wants, with no consequences. Shame on all of us for letting this happen. 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on August 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm
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Do you know Mr. Belanger, or the alleged victim?  Or, did you attend the trial and hear all the evidence?  If not, your post is reckless and uninformed, and shame on you for defaming Mr. Belanger and the jury despite your lack of knowledge regarding the case.

By the way, there was an eyewitness report and multiple, credible victims in the Sandusky case.  You're really gonna make that comparison?  Absurd.

illini_trucker wrote on August 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

If you've read the paper over the past few years, you will notice that Harris has a history of trying to fight no-win sex battles and LOSING!! There was no evidence at this time. Harris decided to take the case all the way.. U can take as long as u want to prosecute a case.. Once the trial starts though, you either have a solid case or u don't. Harris could've nolle prosequied the case before it got to the jury. Now a young girl won't get her justice if this alleged man was in fact the criminal he was alleged to be. I'm really surprised Harris still has his job quite frankly!! His record purely STINKS when he can't get a plea deal done!!

villagebeader wrote on August 16, 2012 at 8:08 am

Belanger is a creep and I have seen how he manipulates women. I agree that the incident should have been reported when it happened but that doesn't mean he didn't do it.  Eventually all this will catch up with him, but how many other victims will it take!  And yes I do know him and the victim!!

illini_trucker wrote on August 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

Of you want some sort of idea of how many times it takes.. Read this! (spoiler is in the 4th paragraph!)

 

http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=17002275