By Annie Sciacca
22 October 2019
MARTINEZ — A mistrial was declared Tuesday after a jury failed to deliver a verdict in the case against a Bay Area ballet teacher accused of raping and molesting former dance students.
After deliberating Monday and Tuesday, the jury announced it could not unanimously agree on the counts against Viktor Kabaniaev, attorneys confirmed Tuesday. Kabaniaev was charged with and pleaded not guilty to 14 counts including rape, forced oral copulation and molestation of girls younger than 15.
“We’re delighted that six jurors kept their eyes open on the evidence — the devil is in the details,” said Kabaniaev’s defense attorney, Ken Wine. “The details showed there were too many inconsistencies.”
According to Wine, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Mary Ann O’Malley polled jurors and asked whether anything could be done to change their minds, but they said ‘no,’ and reported they had taken four votes. For the majority of the counts, Wine said, the jury was split. He noted the votes swung from 9-to-3 to 7-to-5 to 6-to-6, but the jurors did not indicate whether they leaned toward guilty or not guilty.
Read the full article in The East Bay Times.