56°
Clear
FRI
 92°
 56°
SAT
 94°
 54°
SUN
 88°
 54°
MON
 86°
 54°
TUE
 87°
 57°

Last hours to vote for the Best of Sonoma County finalists! Don't miss out!

Santa Rosa man wins appeal over teen kissing

A state appeals court has reversed a conviction against a Santa Rosa man found guilty of misdemeanor battery for allegedly kissing a teenage karate student who developed a crush on him, his lawyer said Thursday.

Jason Bates, 42, was acquitted by a jury last year of more serious felony charges connected to a series of incidents that arose in 2007 at Finley Community Center and a martial arts party at his house.

Bates, a systems engineer, was a fellow karate student and part-time instructor, said his lawyer, Stephen Turer.

Although jurors said there was no evidence he molested the then 13-year-old girl, they found him guilty of participating in the kiss, which Turer maintained she initiated.

Bates appealed on the grounds that the charge wasn't filed within the one-year statute of limitations for misdemeanors. The appeals panel agreed and overturned the conviction.

On Wednesday, Bates appeared before a Sonoma County judge who set aside the conviction and ordered he be reimbursed for about $200 in fines.

The reversal means Bates will not be liable for $6,000 in restitution sought by the girl's family, Turer said.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View