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A Berthoud man was found not guilty on Friday by a jury on three different charges of sex assault after a five day trial.
Benjamin Macaluso, 48, was charged in 2018 with sexual assault on a child and two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, all Class 4 felonies, after two victims came forward to authorities.
The two victims alleged the abuse occurred in 2009 while interning at Macaluso’s photography business, BellaClaire Studios, which closed in 2013.
The third victim testified Macaluso touched her inappropriately at a party three years ago when she was 11.
Macaluso’s attorney, Stephanie Stout, argued the three victims were each going through difficult personal matters and “probably needed attention.”
In closing arguments, deputy district attorney Brian Hardouin rhetorically asked the jury why the victims’ stories weren’t more elaborate or explicit if they “just wanted attention.”
Both lawyers asked the jury to consider the motives of each of the testifiers.
Macaluso testified on Thursday, denying every accusation.
Brooklyn Dance is a breaking news reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @hibrookIyn.
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