Man stands trial again for sex abuse
Mistrial declared in January
Accused of sexually abusing a minor, a Waldorf man stands trial this week for the second time after a mistrial was declared in January when the jury could only arrive at a partial verdict.
The girl’s mother and maternal grandmother made the allegations after Jason Adam Fallin, 35, of Waldorf, spent a weekend with the alleged victim in 2014.
However, this is not the first time the man has been accused.
A jury will decide the validity of the allegations brought against Fallin who was indicted in July on charges of sexual abuse and assault against the 10-yearold girl.
In January, the prosecutors, Assistant State’s Attorneys Sarah Freeman and Katrine Bakhtiary, presented their case to a jury in front of Judge Jay West of the Charles County Circuit Court.
To prove his guilt, the state’s case relied almost exclusively on witness testimonies, including the testimony of the alleged victim.
Fallin was represented by public defender Allison Heldreth, who told the jurors that these allegations were fabricated, motivated by an ongoing dispute between the defendant and the child’s mother and grandmother.
In August 2012, the girl allegedly told her mother that Fallin had touched her inappropriately, prompting a protective order and a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation.
The state called upon a CPS investigator and a licensed clinical counselor who had interviewed the child, and according to their testimony, the girl showed no signs of fabrication or coaching when asked about the alleged abuse.
However, the investigation was inconclusive and no criminal charges were filed.
The protective order eventually expired. Fallin was allowed to be around the child under the condition that Fallin’s mother would supervise.
But another allegation arose after the girl spent the weekend of Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2014, at Fallin’s parents’ house near the Indian Head Rail Trail in White Plains.
According to the girl’s testimony, which was interrupted by an emotional breakdown, Fallin touched her again in a porta potty on the trail.
She told her mother and maternal grandmother about the incident and another protective order was obtained, but this time criminal charges were pursued, according to court proceedings.
Contrary to the child’s testimony, Fallin’s sister-inlaw took the stand and said that she was there that day, and they only walked the trail for a short time before returning home because of the cold weather. No one used the porta potty, she testified.
In the state’s closing argument, Freeman asked the jurors to consider the demeanor of the child when she testified.
“That emotional breakdown was not rehearsed; it was not a lie,” she said.
Freeman continued and labeled the argument presented by Heldreth throughout the trail as “smoke and mirrors” intended to confuse jurors.
Heldreth addressed the jury and reiterated that she believed the allegations to be fabricated and that there was ample motivation to do so.
Heldreth also attempted to diminish the credibility of various witnesses called upon by the state, especially the licensed clinical counselor who had only been practicing in that capacity for about a year when she handled the case and was not fully-licensed at the time in 2012, she said.
The defense also highlighted that when Fallin surrendered his cell phone to detectives, he willingly provided the passcode to unlock it as well.
“That’s not consciousness of guilt; that’s someone with nothing to hide,” she told jurors.
After many hours of deliberation, the jury remained deadlocked and could only arrive at a partial verdict. Had the defendant opted to accept the partial verdict he would have been acquitted since the only thing the jurors could agree on was the charges they determined had not been proven by the state.
However, Fallin elected to motion for a mistrial, and now once again appears in court to contest the allegations.