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Hung jury declared in rape trial
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Jurors returned deadlocked Tuesday in a case against a man accused of molesting a young girl for more than a decade, the abuse allegedly beginning when she was just 4 years old.“In my world, he’s still a monster,” the girl, now a late teen, said from the witness stand during the trial of accused child molester John David Smartt Jr., 47. “I’m almost 20 now and I still can’t make eye contact with him.”Jurors voted nine to convict and three to acquit following the two-day trial that ended with Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley declaring a mistrial Tuesday afternoon. Smartt faced serving the rest of his life in prison had he been convicted on the top charges of child rape.Smartt sat stoically beside his attorney, Josh Crain, at the defense table during the often-graphic testimony.