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Grants Pass man speaks out about not guilty verdict on misconduct charges with a minor

Grants Pass man speaks out about not guilty verdict on misconduct charges with a minor

A family is put back together after 9 months apart after their son was sent to jail.

"I couldn't be any happier. It's amazing to be out here right now," says Bryan Tucker who is now 20 years-old.

Back in 2015, then 17-year old Tucker met a girl who claimed to be 17, but Tucker found out she was actually 12 after speaking with her mom.

"Then her Facebook stuff said she was 16 and that's when I was first like okay, what is this?" Said Tucker. "She's like, 'oh well I thought it would be weird if I was a year younger than you so I told you that I'm a year older than you.'"

He ended the relationship, but about a year and a half later, Tucker was arrested and charged with 16 counts of felony charges including sexual abuse in the first degree.

Thursday a jury found him innocent.

"She had sent me some pictures that I didn't ask for," said Tucker. "She asked for me to send some back, so I sent one back."

He says those pictures were sent before he found out the girl's real age and they never had sex, just made out.

"She had a lip ring, she was smoking cigarettes, she was out all the time," said Tucker. "Her friend was 16 and she was taller than me. All of these things gave me the impression that she was older."

Tucker and his parents believe because of an Oregon law stating a defendant can't use the fact they didn't know the person was underage as a defense, made it a hard case for him.

"The way justice was supposed to be blind on this when you can't talk about you defense because your defense is that she lied to you, but since she is the underage individual, she can have no blame does not make sense," said Shawn Tucker, his dad.

Now, 9 months later and 20 years old, Tucker just wants to get past this and move on.

"I have a wonderful girlfriend that has been with me through the entire time, a lot of support from friends and family and now that I am out, I can start rebuilding my life," said Tucker. "A chance, not a lot of people get when these allegations are brought against them."

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