A Lycoming County jury acquitted Aaron Meixel, 41, on charges of unlawful contact, corruption of minors and indecent assault after almost five hours of deliberation late Monday.
The jury found Meixel guilty on one count of disseminating obscene materials to a minor, a third-degree felony. Meixel was tried on two counts of each charge.
The obscene material in question was an explicit picture of Meixel and his wife saved to his smartphone, a picture that two females, a 9- and 11-year-old, saw inside a city home.
Meixel admitted that the picture existed when he initially was questioned by city police Agent Kevin Stiles. He also admitted at that time to making inappropriate contact with one female, once, by grabbing and twisting the chest in retaliation for her committing the same act against other children.
The jury returned to Judge Richard Gray's courtroom twice during deliberation to ask a clarifying question about the definition of indecent assault.
Meixel denied, in court, that he did anything for his own gratification.
The original affidavit for Meixel's arrest, made on Sept. 21, 2011, alleged that he had committed crimes of a sexual nature against three females, ages 9, 10 and 12.
One female said that Meixel had watched her shower. Another said that he showed explicit pictures to her outside while with a friend and told her he "rapes children and if they tell anyone then he will do the same thing to them."
A follow-up interview with the females conducted by Stiles on Sept. 29, 2011, found that the photograph incident occurred inside a city home.
No mention of the shower incident or Meixel's alleged threat was made by witnesses in court.
"There were questions you weren't clear on but you didn't clarify them before you prepared the affidavit, correct?" defense attorney Nicole Ippolito asked Stiles.
"As an investigation goes on you'll find certain facts are pertinent that weren't clear," Stiles said. "That will usually lead to a second interview."
Ippolito asked Stiles whether he was trained to ask children "the difference between a truth and a lie."
"By that time, that age of 10 or so, they don't give you any training to tell you you should do that," Stiles said.
"As soon as you asked (Meixel about the pictures), he told you, correct?" Ippolito asked Stiles. "He chose to stay and discuss this with you."
Asked by Assistant District Attorney Aaron Biichle why he didn't take any action to remedy the situation before the authorities became involved, Meixel said he was "embarrassed that (the girls) had seen the picture."
Biichle asked Meixel if he should have elaborated more on his story when questioned by police.
"(Stiles) was just asking if I did something," Meixel said. "I followed the questions he was asking if I felt that at the time I needed to elaborate because it was going to end up like this, I would've."
Meixel was remanded to Lycoming County Prison. He likely will be sentenced in February.