Pub owner Nerney wins unlawful sexual contact trial

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— A jury of four women and two men found Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney not guilty of unlawful sexual contact, a misdemeanor, in Routt County Court on Friday morning. The trial began Thursday.

"They took about 25 minutes to reach a verdict of not guilty, which is a very quick verdict, relatively speaking," said Kris Hammond, Nerney's attorney.

Nerney was arrested in February at Jade Summit on the misdemeanor charge, which involved a patron at the pub.

While successful at the criminal trial, Nerney still faces a July 5 hearing with the Steamboat Springs City Council, which will decide whether to suspend or revoke the liquor licenses for Nerney's Ski Time Square restaurant and bar. The council, acting as the Liquor License Authority, has the authority to suspend or revoke the bar's liquor license based on Nerney's alleged conduct in the arrest, despite the jury's verdict.

"What I've heard from the city is that the verdict doesn't mean anything to them," Hammond said.

The administrative hearing with the City Council has been postponed twice since it was originally scheduled in March. Despite the objections of city officials, the council granted the continuances at the request of Hammond, who said he was not comfortable with Nerney talking about the allegation with city officials before the criminal case.

Now that the case has been settled in Nerney's favor, Hammond said he doesn't believe the council should have a hearing at all.

"It's a complaint that's been through the courts and can't be proved," Hammond said.

City Council President Susan Dellinger said the council will move forward with its hearing because "it has nothing to do with the criminal case."

Dellinger said the potential misuse of a liquor license is a separate issue from the criminal prosecution of an individual and that the council will review findings of fact to determine if Nerney's businesses still meet the standards required to hold the license.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com.

Comments

stillinsteamboat 7 years, 2 months ago

City Council, a higher authority has deemed Mr. Nerney not guilty. Why not just let it go?

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure the council is much more qualified to determine this issue than a court of law and a jury of his peers.

Dellinger said "the potential misuse of a liquor license is a separate issue"... and... "that the council will review findings of fact"... I sure am glad the council will get to the facts, not like our justice system which uses... uh, what?

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trump_suit 7 years, 2 months ago

It seems very odd to me, that the ower of a bar is up on charges for escorting out a less than desireable customer.

I don't care if that customer is male or female, when they become unruly and have to be physically escorted out the door, it seems pretty plain where the blame should be placed.

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trollunderthebridge 7 years, 2 months ago

Facts, City Council doesn't know the meaning of the work... Look at all their decisions and Ordinances lately...You can have all the experts in the world stand up and speak at Council meetings. Right or wrong they will act on the issue for Mr. Nerney based on how their personal feelings about the guy and who screams the most at Council.

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mom 7 years, 2 months ago

Do you know something more about what happened at the bar? I am just curious where the "escorting out a less than desireable customer" comes from in regards to "unlawful sexual contact." Just wondering.

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ripdar 7 years, 2 months ago

There was no unruly customer. The party involved was minding her own business when Nerney chose to touch her while she was seated and could not escape. It was no accident, there was no apology afterward. He should have been found guilty, but the courts failed once again.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

Ripdar- the JURY of 6 people, 4 were WOMEN, unanimously said "Not Guilty." The courts didn't say anything.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

Actually, it does mean he's wasn't guilty. That's what a trial is for. If you have first hand knowledge, were you called as a witness? Why didn't the jury believe your first hand knowledge if you were called as a witness?

I wasn't there, but from the stories I was told, he "zrrrbrrrd" someone. If that was the case, I think I can live with that if it happens again.

To paraphrase an old George Carlin line, "Stop me before I zrrrbrrr again!!"

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ripdar 7 years, 2 months ago

No, actually it means that they BELIEVED he wasn't guilty, none of them was there and do not know for sure. I DO. Obviously, you are not a woman. Parts of a woman's anatomy are off limits to uninvited contact. That's what the law says. If she had reacted with fury and decked him, would that make you believe her? Because she became upset and reacted with shock and humiliation, she has been portrayed as an "unruly customer?" I am totally disgusted with him and the jurors that excused his behavior.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

I have no knowledge of the situation. The jury spoke. We have a rule of law in the country. The defendant evidently didn't prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt. It took 25min of deliberation. That usually means no evidence was strong enough on a particular side to sway any of them.

And no- decking him wouldn't make me believe anything more than what I know at this point. Yes, I have been slapped by women at younger times in my life and never once was it because I accosted a woman. Sometimes, just a drunken proposition can cause that. I speak from experience from my drinking days.

It's probably a good thing she didn't hit him: that could have launched a countersuit for assault. Would that have stood up in court? Who knows, but in this day and age, it's a possibility.

I'm not saying the woman was lying or anything like that. It's all about perception and the law. 6 jurors concluded that it was not an offense that should be punishable by law. You can be disgusted all you like. Had the verdict been different, there would be others that would be disgusted.

I'm not saying who's right or wrong. I'm only saying the verdict was Not Guilty and the case is now closed. Bringing your point of view here is not enough to change how I feel about Kevin Nerney. It only looks to me as if you are trying for sympathy. Plus, as an anonymous poster, I can't verify you were anywhere near the scene when it happened, nor do I care to. This is why most minds are never changed in an anonymous atmospher. I'm not asking you to reveal yourself, either. All I know is that he was found Not Guilty and you are trying to overturn that in people's minds.

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bolter 7 years, 2 months ago

Didn't he testify that it WAS an accident and that he DID apologize? Not Guilty indicates that the jury did not buy HER story.

He would have to live with it if he were convicted. I'm afraid you are going to have to live with it now.

Ours is the worst criminal justice system in the world except all the others.

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ripdar 7 years, 2 months ago

Ok. have it your way. He is innocent. He hasn't done anything wrong. He's a Pillar of the Community. And his liquor license is under review, why?

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sugarcone22 7 years, 2 months ago

I do know one thing, once ANY allegations made against a Restaurant /Bar owner (wheather proven guilty or innocent) the Council has the right to put a liquor licence under review. Can you believe that!!!!!! Does this happen everywhere? Or just here in Steamboat?

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

kielbasa... we actually agree on something... the verdict of the jury says not guilty.

I do not know any of the parties involved nor the bar in question but I have personal experience with inebriated people. One person under the influence that thinks they have been wronged can convince any amount of friends and bar patrons that they actually were (and most of them will say they saw it first hand). ripdar didn't answer the question about being a witness, did her first hand knowledge consist of being told by the complainant or was she a witness? If this person was on her first drink I will apologize for my conclusion, otherwise it stands. I've seen this TYPE of thing happen too many times (not just sexual misconduct), the sober one gets the blame and 30 drunks swear to it.

ripdar... you ask "And his liquor license is under review, why?"... That is because the all important city council believes themselves to be more qualified to find facts than a court of law and better able to pass judgment than a jury of ones peers.

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corduroy 7 years, 2 months ago

wow I guess I'm not allowed to state how I feel about someone on here. I've never had a post removed before... whatever.. karma baby!

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

JQ- Hey! I even agree with SBvor 1 time in a million.God, that still makes me shiver in a cold sweat!!

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mom 7 years, 2 months ago

I wonder why these comments were removed. They did not have anything "bad" in them.

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Doug Marsh 7 years, 2 months ago

If I don't get a logical explanation as to why my comment was deleted, count this as a end to my Pilot Subscription.

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ldwalter12 7 years, 2 months ago

Having worked with Mr. Nerney for a year and a half in a "tavern" environment, I can say that I never saw him do anything that I would consider questionable, and watched him, on numerous times, put himself in harms way to secure the safety of a patron. Although I was not a witness to the night in question, I would find it highly irregular for such an out of character incident to have taken place.

The court, and jury, have spoken. Does the city council place themselves above the law? It certainly seems this way. Of course making a big public show about whether or not Kevin Nerney is a "bad man" does draw attention away from the REAL problems that plague Steamboat.

"Oh what a circus, oh what a show..."

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