CRIME

Nicholas Schultz found not guilty of felony sex abuse, kidnapping

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(WJLA) - A second martial arts fighter on trial in D.C. for sexually assaulting a woman on New Year’s Eve was found not guilty this week of the most serious charges against him.

Nicholas Schultz was acquitted of felony first and second degree sex abuse and kidnapping in connection to the alleged assault.

“There are still people out there thinking I am guilty but I want them to know I am not,” Schultz says.

His co-defendant, Matthew Maldonado, was found not guilty last week of all charges.

But jurors were deadlocked on two misdemeanor sex abuse charges against Schultz after 13 days of deliberation.

The jury announced that "no amount of deliberation will change anybody's mind ... the sides are now permanently dug in..."

Schultz and Maldonado were on trial for sexually abusing a woman at a parking garage near St. Matthews Catholic Church in Northwest Washington.

The attack was caught on surveillance footage and played for the jury.

One juror said they watched the surveillance video of the incident 100 times and he said he was leaning guilty but there was too much reasonable doubt as to consent.

“Blurry images … you really couldn't tell heads or tails what was going on so it made it very difficult,” the juror says.

Prosecutors alleged that the pair sexually abused the woman, who was intoxicated and lost consciousness at least once during the alleged incident.

Defense attorneys said the sexual encounter was consensual.

“I knew I was innocent I knew that God would help me in the situation,” says Schultz, who spent 11 months behind bars. He calls those months some of the hardest in his life.

"I won't be able to bring back the time I lost,” he says. “I am just happy that things worked out."

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