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Sen. Ben Sasse's comments during sex trafficking trial didn't hinder verdict, judge rules

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BEAVER CITY — An Oxford man has been denied a new trial in a Furnas County sex trafficking case.

According to court records, Judge David Urbom overruled William “Billy” Quinn’s motion for a new trial last week during a teleconference hearing at Furnas County District Court.

William J. Quinn

William J. Quinn

Quinn, 57, was found guilty of 13 counts of sexual assault and sex trafficking of a 15-year-old during a two-week trial in June in Beaver City. He was acquitted of one count of felony first-degree sexual assault.

Quinn’s attorney, Joseph Howard of Omaha, filed the motion earlier this month saying that statements made by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse during the course of Quinn’s jury trial prejudiced his ability to receive a fair trial by improperly influencing the jury’s deliberations and verdict.

The court found that Sasse’s comments did not prejudice Quinn’s right to a fair trial because on both occasions when the jurors were questioned about the comments, only two of 14 jurors had heard that Sasse made comments about the case. None had heard any substantive information conveyed in Sasse’s comments about the case.

The court was satisfied with each jurors’ assurance that they would not and did not consider Sasse’s comments during deliberations or let such comments influence their verdicts.


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