Posted Dec 06, 2012 04:18 pm CST
A judge has dismissed all charges against a former Alabama child sex-crimes prosecutor accused of sexually enticing an FBI agent posing as a 15-year-old girl.
Special Judge Gaines McCorquodale ruled that the indictment against Steve Giardini had to be axed because there was no actual victim under age 16, as state statutory law requires, the Press-Register reports. In addition to enticement, he was also charged with solicitation of obscene matter of a child for allegedly seeking topless photos of a girl under 16.
A Mobile County jury deadlocked last year when the case against Giardini was tried and a mistrial was declared. His defense counsel, Dennis Knizley, has argued from the outset that, although his conduct was offensive, there was no crime because there was no victim. He also says it isn’t clear that his client asked for a topless photo.
“The issue becomes whether or not that statute can be applicable to an undercover agent purporting to be a 15-year-old female child,” the judge wrote. “The law in this state is well settled that statutes are to be given their plain meaning.”
Giardini is in his early 50s. The judge dismissed the Mobile County case Tuesday, WKRG notes. It was prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office, presumably because of the defendant’s prior role as a county prosecutor.
ABAJournal.com: “Mistrial in Child Enticement Case Involving Former Sex Crimes Prosecutor”
Press-Register: “Former Mobile prosecutor Steve Giardini has history of soliciting sex over Internet, motion says”