A Yakima County Superior Court jury acquitted attorney George Hansen of an unlawful imprisonment charge Thursday.
But jurors failed to reach a verdict on charges of forcible indecent liberties that were filed against Hansen, 38, after a July 2016 incident in which he was accused of fondling an employee at his Yakima law office.
It’s the second time Hansen was tried on the charges this year. In May, another jury acquitted him of attempted second-degree rape but deadlocked on the other charges.
David Allen, Hansen’s attorney, said prosecutors need to drop the case at this point. He said the jury was deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal and had deliberated for a day and a half before members declared themselves at an impasse.
“It is extraordinary to go through two trials, and each trial is getting better for us,” Allen said. “The state needs to drop the case and move on.”
If prosecutors attempt to try Hansen a third time, it would be a sign that they are carrying out a “vendetta,” Allen said.
Attempts to contact Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Soukup, who tried the case, were not successful. He did not return phone calls or email by press time.
Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic also did not return messages.
A woman who worked for Hansen as a paralegal alleged that he held her down in a chair, fondled her breast and threatened to rape her during a July 2016 encounter in his office.
Both trials were heard by Kittitas County Superior Court Judge Candace Hooper, who was called in after Yakima County’s judges recused themselves because of potential conflicts of interest. Hansen was a deputy county prosecuting attorney before going into private practice.