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A Utah jury found an Ogden social worker not guilty of charges accusing him of sexually abusing two girls in a Heber hotel room during a 2014 New Year's party.
Brian Patrick Gomez, 42, was acquitted of four counts of first-degree felony sexual abuse of a child. He was accused of inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl in a condo at the Zermatt Resort.
Gomez's attorney, Earl Xaiz, said Friday that the jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before reaching their verdict.
"The defense that we presented was that he did not do it," Xaiz said. "And he testified and said that he did not do it ... I never try to speculate on why a jury does what they do, but the argument that I presented was that there were way too many inconsistencies. The accusations that they made simply didn't make sense."
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Gomez was a "family friend" of the two alleged victims. On Dec. 31, 2013, Gomez and the girls' family both rented condominiums at the Midway resort for a New Year's Eve celebration. At about 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2014, the parents left Gomez's condo and went to their own room leaving their three daughters there.
A half-hour later, one of the girls texted her father, telling him, "I think Bryan is a pedifile [sic] and I'm kind [of] scared," but the message wasn't seen by the parents until the next morning, according to court records.
In the morning, the two alleged victims confided in their parents that Gomez allegedly touched them underneath their pajamas, the affidavit states.
Gomez was initially charged with six counts of first-degree felony sexual abuse of a child, but Xaiz said prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss two of the charges after they had presented the case to jurors. Xaiz said one of the girl's testimony in court did not provide enough evidence for prosecutors to move forward on those two counts.
Prosecutors were not available Friday for comment.
Xaiz said he doesn't know if his client will resume his job in social work a career that was placed on hold after Gomez signed an agreement with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing records saying he would not practice social work until the case was resolved. The defense attorney said Gomez and his family were "very relieved" by the verdicts.
"These cases are very difficult," Xaiz said. "It's not really a matter of jubilation for anybody. You have young girls making allegations that we argue are unfounded. You have two families undergoing so much trauma because of the allegations."