William Wanner child sex assault case: Hot tub video ruled admissible


Wayzata businessman William Wanner didn't want a jury to see security video from the Minneapolis Club that police say shows him sexually assaulting the 10-year-old daughter of a neighbor in the club's hot tub.

But his motion to keep the video out of court has been denied, as has his request to have the charges dismissed, in a ruling by District Court Judge Frank Magill.

Wanner was charged with two felony counts of second-degree criminal sexual after being arrested in December 2009. A witness came forward to say that she saw him pull the girl's bathing suit down and put his hands in her groin area while sitting in the club's hot tub, located near the swimming pool.

Police say the video backs up the witness. [DOCUMENT]:

"The defendant pulls the victim to the same corner of the hot tub, positions himself behind the victim and places her left leg on the edge of the hot tub. Thereafter, the defendant's hands are observed on the victim's groin area for several minutes. The defendant then turns the victim around to face him and both the victim and the defendant take turns touching the defendant's groin area."

Wanner's legal team argued that video could mislead jurors, and cited four specific problems: The image resolution was poor, the motion-sensor triggered camera captured images at differing rates, there were gaps in the recording, and it appeared that some sequences were out of chronological order.

Magill saw things differently. [DOCUMENT]:

Any potential of the whirlpool videos and stills to mislead the jury is minimal, since each party may urge the jury to adopt its interpretation of the actions depicted therein. Similarly, each party is free to use relevant and admissible evidence to attack or bolster the weight if the whirlpool videos and stills.

Motion denied.


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