A state appeals court on Thursday overturned the child sexual assault conviction of a former Glens Falls dance instructor, finding technical errors during jury selection should result in a new trial.

The ruling by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court will result in Timothy McGuire being brought back to Warren County Court in the coming weeks for a new prosecution. McGuire was found guilty of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, a felony that was filed for repeated abuse of a male student at his dance school over a nine-year period.

The court found that Judge John Hall did not make proper inquiries to a potential juror who indicated a possible bias against homosexuals, and also did not follow proper procedure when a juror inquired about what would happen if the panel did not reach a unanimous verdict.

Hall responded he had not had a trial in which the jury could not reach a verdict and that they would have to deliberate a week or two for that to happen. The jury reached a verdict the next day.

That answer was improperly given without consulting with the lawyers in the case first, the appeals court found.

“This was coercive, in that the jurors were not informed that, while keeping an open mind and considering the viewpoints of fellow jurors, they must not surrender their conscientiously held beliefs or acquiesce to pressure to arrive at a unanimous verdict,” Justice William McCarthy wrote.

Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan noted that the appeals court found there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict McGuire.

“It certainly allows us to go forward with a retrial,” she said.

McGuire was represented on the appeal by lawyer Cynthia Feathers, who did not return a phone call for comment Thursday.

His lawyer for the trial, Tucker Stanclift, said he had predicted the appeals court would grant a new trial because he knew the jury issues were significant.

“The comment was coercive and it led a jury that was 11-1 in favor of acquittal the first day to swing its vote the next day,” he said.

McGuire, 51, of Glens Falls, was being held in Watertown Correctional Facility as of Thursday. He has been serving a 5-year prison sentence.

He ran Tim McGuire Dance Centre in the region for nearly three decades, and had testified he did not have improper contact with the accuser.

Prosecutors were barred by Hall from bringing 21 other men before the jury who claimed McGuire had improper sexual contact with them while they were children because the allegations were too old.

(7) comments

PAWS31

Technical errors........Well, then bring the trial back on. Maybe some of the 21 others who claim the same and were not aloud to testify....will be able to finally be able to at least be "character witnesses" and put him behind bars for even more than a lousy 5 yrs.

Gay, Straight, Bi-Sexual.....There's no excuse for this type of abuse. This is just another last ditch effort to get another chance, for another trial.....and see if this next set of jurors see things differently.

I hope not. The evidence was overwhelming. This man abused his authority and this child's parents must have been unconscious not to think the "stay-overs" were just a bit weird.

Key

How is this fair to the children? The system is overly concerned about these procedural technicalities rather than focus on the actual facts of the case

JoshStrong

I could NOT agree more. When did we all start needing trials to include all these "technicalities"? I remember back when folks just used good old common sense and knew guilt from innocence without all these dang lawyers arguing about such things as homophobic jurors sitting on a gay mans trial. I mean, just because a person is racist wouldnt mean they shouldnt be sitting on an african americans trial! Am I right? Who's with me? I say the mayor should write a law getting rid of technicalities. I would vote for that law!

dancer93

CANT WAIT for this trial to happen! finally the truth will come out and lies will finally be put to rest...its time for Tim to be free again and do what he loves and rebuild his dance family...he has so many supporters out here rooting for him to come back!

billybobskiff

I find it interesting that the vote was 11-1 not guilty prior to Judge Halls instructions.

Wontwin2013

How can this even be good... Didn't we see that Mr. McGuire got up on the stand and lied though his teeth? And didn't you see him lose it when the boy was up there. I don't it doesn't make a lot of sense. I hope the 20 other guys get to testify and railroad his chance of getting out. A man like that need to be locked up for a lot longer then 5 years. And for any parent that is ready to send there kids right back to him that just show how blind the world can be.

Student23

To JoshStrong,
If a person is racist, they cannot and should not take part in the conviction of a citizen whose race he/she discriminates against. If you were on trial, and the jury that was deciding your fate discriminated against all Josh Strongs in the world, something tells me that no matter what, you would be charged as guilty, no matter how innocent you really were. It's not an absurd technicality, it's pure civil rights.

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