Court Overturns NJ Man’s “Shower Game” Conviction
A state appellate court has ordered a new trial for a New Jersey man convicted of child endangerment for playing a “shower game” with an 11-year-old boy.
The Daily Record of Parsippany reports the panel overturned Donald Hertel’s conviction on Tuesday.
The Rockaway Township man was supervising several youths at the Randolph YMCA in 2006 when he proposed the boy open his swimsuit under a showerhead while Hertel sprayed hot and cold water on his genitals. His attorney maintains Hertel had no sexual intent.
The court said misleading and contradictory jury instructions improperly shifted the burden of proof and confused jurors. They also determined Hertel’s defense lawyer was improperly denied permission to call a witness.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi will appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)