MARINETTE, Wis. - Former Norway pastor Harold Markham has been found not guilty of all charges.
Markham, 46, of Niagara, Wis., had been charged with one felony count of repeated sexual assault of a child, one misdemeanor count of battery, and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
After just two and a half hours of deliberation, a Marinette County jury found him not guilty of all three charges on Thursday.
Harold and Mary Markham
The trial had started on Tuesday morning.
"The length of time the jury deliberated indicated that the prosecution's case was not close to beyond a reasonable doubt," said defense attorney Torger Omdahl.
"The jury did an excellent job in analyzing all of the facts," he said. "The defendant is returning with his family and will attempt to regain the pulpit."
Markham had been a pastor at the Norway Baptist Church for several years.
Due to the allegations against him, Markham was put on extended leave. He later resigned.
Norway Baptist Church Pastor Brent Belford said today that he did not think Markham would return to the Norway Baptist Church as a pastor.
Belford added that since the case has become so public, he does not think Markham would want to return to the same church.
Markham had been accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old female multiple times between July 2007 and September 2007 in Niagara.
In addition, Markham had been accused of having an argument with the same female in August 2011 in Niagara. In that alleged incident, the female claimed that Markham tried to stop her from leaving a residence, then pushed her down and grabbed her throat.