Ex-Vermont lawmaker guilty of 1 count in sex crimes trial

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — A former lawmaker accused of soliciting sex from a farmhand in exchange for giving her free rent was found guilty of one count of prohibited acts on Friday.

Former Republican state Sen. Norm McAllister was acquitted of another count of prohibited acts and sex assault, The Burlington Free Press reported (http://bfpne.ws/2ui3m8O ). The jury delivered its verdict shortly before 10 p.m. after about four hours of deliberation.

McAllister said he was disappointed he wasn’t acquitted on all three charges he faced. “Obviously they believed most of it. … I feel pretty well vindicated,” he said.

The 65-year-old McAllister testified Friday that the woman initiated the relationship while he was still mourning the death of his wife. He said the relationship developed, but they had trouble making it work while he was in the Legislature.

“It was going pretty good,” he said. “We had a kind of closeness, but I guess we had an understanding that we didn’t think it was love. It was just two needy people.”

The woman had testified the day before about their sexual relationship lasting over two years, saying, “None of it felt consensual.”

She said that the sexual relationship was implied to be part of the deal when she was hired as a farmhand in 2012 and that he initiated that relationship when she came to the farm for an interview, the Free Press reported.

McAllister and his son on Friday disputed her allegations.

Charges were dismissed against McAllister in a sexual assault trial involving a different accuser who lied last year.

McAllister’s colleagues voted to suspend him after his arrest in May 2015.

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