CROWN POINT | A Lake Criminal Court judge has acquitted a Lowell man of child molesting charges.
Judge Samuel L. Cappas has found 63-year-old James J. Verthein not guilty of charges he inappropriately touched an underage girl in his Lowell home in the summer of 2009.
Police and the county prosecutor's office accused Verthein of fondling a girl who was 6 years old in 2009.
Police said the girl reported the touching to her parents and a counselor, who notified Lowell police. The Children and Family Assistance division of the Lake County sheriff's department interviewed the girl before charges were filed. Verthein pleaded not guilty.
Judge Cappas held a bench trial, in which no jury was involved, beginning Jan. 23. Prosecutors and defense attorney Steve Mullins presented witnesses and evidence before Cappas ruled Verthein was not guilty Jan. 23 on either of two child molesting counts.