LEBANON, Ohio -- Anthony Ward, the tattoo-faced man accused of trying to lure an 11-year-old Springboro girl from her home in December, was found not guilty on Friday.
The jury reached a verdict after about 30 minutes of deliberation, WCPO news partner the Journal-News reported.
Ward, 44, of Lebanon, will remain in jail on a parole hold.
He was the last witness to testify. He was charged with criminal child enticement and aggravated trespassing.
Before discussing the incident, lawyer Tom Diehl asked Ward to describe what it was like living with tattoos framing his face and covering the rest of his head.
“It’s hard to find a job,” Ward said, acknowledging his appearance upset some people he met.
Diehl said Ward let other inmates mark him in prison after his son’s suicide.
With Christmas coming, Ward said, “I was trying to make extra money” when he joined a friend who traveled around the Springboro neighborhood looking for driveways to snow plow.
When the girl answered the door, Ward said he offered to plow the drive and, after she closed the door, walked back to the truck they were traveling and went on down the street looking for work.
“If they say no, I say, ‘Merry Christmas,’ and go on my way,” he testified.
But Assistant County Prosecutor Cynthia Ellison listed Ward’s long criminal history and pressed him about his story, pointing out various versions he gave to investigators.
Two Springboro police officers also recounted the 911 call, interviews with the mother, two girls, Ward and his co-worker, who was not charged.