The trial of a Niwot man who admitted to drinking an 8-year-old girl's urine and spending time with her in the nude ended Friday with a hung jury.
After deliberating into the night Thursday, and again Friday morning, the 12-person jury could not agree whether to convict Joseph S. Cardillo of sexual assault on a child.
An anonymous source close to the case said 11 jurors had agreed to convict, but there was one holdout. A new trial has been set for the week of Jan. 25.
The District Attorney's Office will have to evaluate whether the case is strong enough to take to trial again. Prosecutor Catrina Weigel would not comment on the merits of the case but said she respects the jury's decision.
Defense attorney Bret Glass also said he would not comment on the facts of the case because it might be tried again or he might enter into plea negotiations with prosecutors. He also wouldn't comment on why he thought the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision.
District Attorney Stan Garnett said hung juries occur in about 10 percent of trials, and he doesn't think there was anything in particular about the case that led to the hung jury.
"Part of the jury process is that each person's vote counts, and that means sometimes you get a hung jury," he said.
He said his office would review the case closely before making a decision about whether to retry.
"It's a serious charge," he said. "In most cases, if a case is worth trying once, it's worth trying again."
According to police reports, the girl told investigators she and Cardillo often spent time together in the nude, including bathing and sleeping together, that Cardillo used a sex toy on her and that he drank her urine from his cupped hands.
Cardillo testified Thursday that the girl wanted him to drink her urine, and that he had received "urine therapy" training in India and attended nudist schools. He told jurors both are normal practices in "alternative communities" and he was never aroused or gratified by anything that happened when he was with the child.
Cardillo faces charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and failure to appear in court after he fled the state earlier this year and was arrested in Sedona, Ariz.
If retried and convicted of the felony sex assault charge, he could face life in prison.
The girl's mother, who met Cardillo at a Hare Krishna meeting and dropped her daughter off to stay overnight at his house on a regular basis, was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse and sentenced last September to two years of probation.
Lora Lee Hansen-Beard testified Thursday that she knew everything about her daughter's relationship with Cardillo and approved of him as a guardian.
The girl has been placed in the care of other family members.
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