Thursday, June 01, 2023

County won't pursue sex assault case against Lincoln Co. man

The Western News | September 2, 2022 7:00 AM

The Lincoln County Attorney’s Office will not pursue a case against a Lincoln County man accused of sexually assaulting an underage relative several years ago.

County Attorney Marcia Boris told District Judge Matt Cuffe on Monday the county was dismissing the charge against 61-year-old Timothy William Ague, 61.

Ague was on trial for the offense from Aug. 10-12. Jurors began to deliberate on Aug. 12.

According to Ague’s public defender Keenan Gallagher, the jury was deadlocked after about 2 1/2 hours and Cuffe read an additional instruction to the panel. After another 2 1/2 hours, the jury foreperson said they couldn’t reach a verdict. Cuffe declared a mistrial at about 6:30 p.m.

In an email to The Western News, Gallagher said he and co-counsel Greg Rapkoch were able to speak with some of the jurors. Gallagher said nine favored a “not guilty” verdict in the email.

“Of the three, two would have been okay with a not guilty verdict if the court ordered them to continue deliberating into Saturday,” Gallagher wrote.

After the case was dismissed Monday, Gallagher was pleased with the result.

“He’s completely innocent and they made the right choice by dismissing the case,” Gallagher said.

Boris had no comment.

Ague was arrested in May 2021 following a lengthy investigation.

Ague pleaded not guilty to one felony count of sexual assault in June 2021. A charge of assault on a peace officer for an alleged incident in the county jail was dismissed in June 2022.

Gallagher argued that his client didn’t sexually assault his relative and that he is “completely innocent.”

“This is based upon flawed testimony and we’ll point out the inconsistencies of (alleged victim’s) testimony,” Gallagher said in his opening statement on Wednesday.

The prosecution, led by Boris and Deputy County Attorney Levi Roadman, mainly relied on the testimony of the alleged victim, her mother, her great aunt and county Det. Duane Rhodes.

Ague testified on his behalf during the trial and said none of the allegations against him had ever happened.

“When Det. (Duane) Rhodes called me in for an interview and told me the allegations, I was shocked,” Ague said. “It never happened, none of it.

“I never got into bed with her, I never had her touch me, I never touched her inappropriately,” he said.

Boris cross-examined Ague about the testimony of the alleged victim.

“Isn’t fair to say the only thing you disagree about her testimony is that you touched her inappropriately?” Boris said.

Ague agreed. Boris then had him look at the transcript of the interview he had with Det. Rhodes after the allegation had been made.

“I know when we are wrestling, things get a little weird, but nothing inappropriate,” Ague said.

The alleged abuse was reported in July 2020. The victim’s mother testified that she had her four children, including her daughter, begin seeing a counselor in October 2016 after she and her husband were divorced.