Judge: Dove not guilty

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — A Galax man charged with seven felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child has been found not guilty in Grayson Circuit Court.

Grayson County Commonwealth's Attorney Douglas Vaught told The Gazette that David Dove was found not guilty in a bench trial after two full days of testimony.

"Testimony was presented by the complaining witness — who was a minor at the time the alleged offenses took place — the investigating officer, a computer forensic examiner and other witnesses," Vaught said. "The defense presented several witnesses. The defendant chose not to testify."

The testimony failed to convince Circuit Judge Brett Geisler. According to Vaught, the judge said he believed something inappropriate was going on, but was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the events — as described by the commonwealth's witnesses — took place as described.

In July 2007, a Grayson grand jury indicted Dove, alleging that the incidents occurred on three separate occasions.

Dove was previously acquitted of three felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child in Chesapeake, and a Virginia State Police investigation showed the three cases in Chesapeake involved the same female as in Grayson.

The youth lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia. Dove also lived in that area before moving to Galax.

A trial date on similar charges in Carroll County has not been set.