A jury in Daytona Beach, FL found WELE-AM Ormond Beach owner Doug Wilhite innocent of charges that he had sex with a 15-year-old boy at his home. Wilhite still faces other criminal charges, as well as civil lawsuits.
Local news reports said Wilhite declined to comment after he was acquitted, following three days of testimony. His attorney said prosecutors should “stop trying to ruin Mr. Wilhite’s life,” reported the Daytona Beach News Journal.
Wilhite had faced up to 45 years in prison had he been convicted of raping and molesting the teenager, who had lived in his home. The defense attorney said the jury didn’t find the story credible because the boy admitted to having lied previously to an investigator for the state Child Protective Services.
Prosecutors aren’t backing down. They indicated that they intend to move forward with seven other criminal charges against Wilhite, accusing him of providing alcohol to minors, showing them pornographic movies and watching two teenage girls have sex with the same boy who was involved in the first case. Most recently, the parents of the two girls filed civil lawsuits against Wilhite and his wife.
RBR-TVBR observation: No doubt the FCC will be watching to see how this whole thing plays out. Florida radio station license renewal applications are due October 3, 2011, with current licenses due to expire February 1, 2012.