For the second time in just over a year, the trial of a former Disney executive accused of lewd acts with a child has ended in a hung jury.
On Aug. 30, jurors weighing the evidence presented at the second trial of Jonathan Blake Heely, 60, of Santa Clarita, told the judge they could not reach a verdict.
“The jury announced it was unable to reach a verdict and the judge declared a mistrial,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Friday.
Heely was ordered to return to San Fernando Superior Court on Sept. 24 for a pretrial hearing, he said.
Whether Heely will be ordered to stand trial a third time on the same charges is something still to be determined.
In July 2018, after a four-day trial, jurors were unable to reach a verdict and a new trial was ordered.
The second trial got underway in July 2019, with closing arguments heard the last week of August.
Detectives with the Special Victims Unit said in December 2017 that allegations were brought to the Sheriff’s Department earlier in 2017, and the investigation resulted in three charges.
“We have no reason to believe there are other victims out there,” Sgt. Brian Hudson of the LASD Special Victims Unit said at the time. “However, if anyone has any additional information out there, we would encourage them to contact the Special Victims Unit.”
Hudson also confirmed shortly after the arrest that the alleged crimes were not connected in any way to Heely’s employment with Disney.
Heely was charged with sexually assaulting female family members who were between the ages of 11 and 16 at the time of the alleged offenses, according to evidence presented at the preliminary hearing.
The alleged abuse took place between 2006 and 2010, according to the criminal complaint.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt