Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Russell Obremski: A Killer's Luck

Another Trial

From the beginning, Obremski denied the molestation charge. He had been babysitting the 4-year-old relative of his fiancée. He took her and her 9-year-old friend to Armitage Park, where the defendant said he took her across a footbridge to a fallen log. The girl said Obremski licked her genitals and showed her his "tail with whiskers around it."

The trial began Sept. 29, 1994, and included 12 days of testimony, which included Obremski slamming his fist on the stand, vehemently denying everything. His testimony was confusing and he contradicted himself several times. Eventually, he said he remembered telling the girl to behave, or he'd "hit her a good lick on the butt." This is where he says she got the idea to tell her friend, her mother, two investigators and a counselor, "Uncle Russ licked my butt." The young accuser was not allowed to testify.

The jury deliberated seven hours over two days before voting to acquit. There was just not enough evidence. Several of the jurors felt that the charges were trumped up, trying to get him back into prison.

According to one juror, "We wanted to put him back in prison to fry for his first crimes, but we weren't there to try him for that."

Lane County District Attorney Doug Harcleroad agreed that not having the young accuser testify, even on videotape, was what sounded the death knell for the prosecution's case. The jurors just did not know how credible the young witness was.

Though acquitted of the molestation charges, Obremski remained in jail on the parole violation charge.

Categories
Advertisement