[UPDATE] Former DOC Employee Not Guilty for Child Molestation

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

UPDATE 4-19-2011 11:25 pm

A former Franklin County Corrections officer walks out of court a free man after standing trial on molestation charges.

Since his arrest, 52-year-old Clyde Hamilton has maintained his innocence, and Tuesday a jury backed him up.

The jury deliberated for more than an hour before coming back with Hamilton's fate. And after hearing the verdict, he and his family could barely hold it together.

"We the jury find the defendant not guilty."

52-year-old Clyde Hamilton hung his head, in tears, as the verdict was read.

"As to count three, we the jury find Clyde Hamilton not guilty."

Hamilton has said all along that he is not a child molester. And on Tuesday, the jury agreed.

After the verdict, Hamilton's family walked out of the courtroom crying. Many of them, including Hamilton's wife and children, refused to believe charges brought against him.

"They were ridiculous in the first place, completely ridiculous," said Hamilton's son, Christopher Hamilton.

This whole ordeal began when Hamilton was arrested in August of 2010 after two underage family members claimed he had molested them over the course of six years.

The arrest papers from the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office say Hamilton was accused of several lewd acts, including pulling out his penis, and touching the alleged victims.

The allegations in the probable cause report are what put Hamilton behind bars, but they weren't enough to keep him there. And four and a half months later, he walked out of the jail doors a free man.

In fact, our cameras were the only ones rolling as Hamilton walked out of jail.

"Well, I was found not guilty and to me that's recovery. I have a strong family structure with many family members that support and we're going to move on," said Hamilton.

We attempted to speak with the prosecutor in the case, but our calls to the state attorney's office after the trial went unanswered.

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UPDATE 4-19-2011 6:22 pm

A former Franklin County DOC employee is found not guilty on all counts of child molestation. WCTV is trying to get reaction on the decision.

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UPDATE 4-19-2011

Attorneys have already given their final closing arguments and now the jury is currently deliberating.

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UPDATE 4-19-2011 Noon by Jerry Askin

A Former Franklin County Corrections Officer accused of sexually molesting two children at his home is on trial today.

Former Franklin county correctional officer Clyde Hamilton is in court right now, accused of molesting two family members. The two victims say the incidents happened at his Hamilton's home in Wakulla County over a span of five to six years. They say several times Hamilton masturbated in front of them and tried to touch their private part with his penis. After being questioned, Hamilton denied all allegations.

Both the state and the defense presented their opening arguments this morning and so far the father of the victims and the victims themselves have testified before the jury.

We'll have more on this story later on Eyewitness News.

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UPDATE 4-19-2011 at 10:45am by Jerry Askin

One of the alleged victims is testifying now. Everyone was told to leave the courtroom (including media) while she testifies.
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UPDATE 4-19-2011 at 10:30am by Jerry Askin

A former Franklin County Correctional Officer is on trial for child molestation.

We want to warn you, the details are very graphic.

The two victims say the incidents happened at Hamilton's home on Mose Strickland Road in Wakulla County. They say several times

Hamilton masturbated in front of them and tried to touch their private part with his penis. After being questioned, Hamilton denied all allegations.

He is being held at the Wakulla County Jail with no bond.
He worked with the Department of Corrections for more than 20 years and resigned in August 2010.

The state is presenting its witnesses now.

Stay with WCTV for updates.

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UPDATE 12-21-2010 at 6:30pm by Jerry Askin

A former Franklin County Correctional Officer is in custody for child molestation.

The investigation began in August 2010, but reports show this sexual molestation has been going on for six years. And investigators say the former DOC employee, 55-year-old Clyde Hamilton of Crawfordville, is the one to blame.

Reports show the victims were underage. The victims say the events happened at Hamilton's home on Mose Strickland Road in Wakulla County.

They say several times Hamilton masturbated in front of them and tried to touch their private parts with his penis. Hamilton denied all the allegations and said the young girls were lying.

He later stated he had a tendency of touching himself in public. Hamilton's wife told investigators he became very depressed after he was questioned about these allegations.

Reports show she even found a suicide note from her husband. Hamilton is now being held at the Wakulla County Jail without bond.

We've learned that Hamilton resigned from the Franklin County Correctional Institute in August - it's not clear if he resigned because of the allegations.

Wakulla County resident Janet Anderson says, "It scares me that this is happening all over and you never know who is doing this to our children."

Janice Kennedy of Wakulla County says, "It's horrible to think that someone in this county - in Wakulla County or any county can do that to a young child."

He worked with the Department of Corrections for more than 20 years.
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A former Franklin County DOC employee is behind bars, charged with child molestation.

55-year-old Clyde Hamilton remains in the Wakulla County Jail with no bond. He's accused of molesting two family members for the past five to six years.

Hamilton was a Correctional Officer Lieutenant at the Franklin Correctional Institute for more than 20 years. He resigned from the Franklin County Correctional Institute on August 21st 2010.
Hamilton is charged with lascivious sexual offense and sexual assault.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for more on this story.


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  • by Steve Location: Marianna on Apr 24, 2011 at 11:57 AM
    Not Guilty of all charges as said by a Jury of his peers. Regardless of what they say, there will be some who say he is guilty, even know they were not even at the trial and heard all the evidence presented and the testimony. Branded a child molester for life,regardless. I Have Known Clyde for many, many years, and can tell you he is no Child molester of any kind, In fact he hates them all. He is a Loving Dad and Grandpa to all his kids and Grand kids. I will also comment on his brand as Lying Clyde, Your labeled that When someone in your work group is accused by doing wrong and you tesify against them, and stays with you forever. I Glad to see the Justice system still works, regardless of what anyone else says, it still works. Know the hole story before you try to pass your own JUDGEMENT, Because all will be judged one day for lies, and your short comming.
    • reply
      by Rena on Apr 25, 2011 at 05:36 AM in reply to Steve
      Steve You are correct that the public always has to judge even though they did not sit through the trial and see everything the jury saw. It is so sad but that is the society we live in. There was a case here where two sisters decided to accuse their father of sexual abuse because he grounded them and took away phones. computers and TV to teach them a life lesson about sneaking out at night. The girls were 14 and 15. The father's name was plastered in the newspaper and his reputation ruined. In the end the girls admitted to making up the story to get back at him. This case never even made it to trial but the man was ruined. When he was accused it was in big bold print on the front page of the Newspaper. When the girls adimitted to lying it was in small print in the back of the newspaper. I also know Clyde well and he is a strong man. It will take time but I feel if anyone can rebound at all from something like this he can. He is such a good man that he prays for the girls who did this and truly wants them to turn their lives around. Having forgiveness in your heart is the first step to recovery.
  • by sopchoppy on Apr 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM
    Who was his lawyer?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:29 PM
    But there will always be that shred of doubt in peoples' minds.
  • by Janet on Apr 20, 2011 at 03:29 PM
    I don't think he did it at all. It appears there are two girls that want this family to suffer. Just because they live in separate locations doesn't mean they didn't corroborate their stories. Glad the jury and judge saw the facts and declared the man innocent.
  • by Robby Location: Tallahassee on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:43 AM
    Every trial like this, and rape trials as well, should have a mandatory sentence of someone. Either the accused or the accuser. If he was in jeopardy of a 20 year sentence, that sentence should now be immediately imposed on the false accusers.
    • reply
      by Tallahassee on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:58 AM in reply to Robby
      You are ridiculous! Just because a jury says he is not guilty, it does not mean he is innocent. It just means that his lawyer was better than the hickville state attorney. Trust me, I know that guilty men go free in Wakulla, they can molest little girls for years and walk out free men and then everyone wants to point the finger at the girls who finally had the courage to come forward and people want to blame the victims. Only God, the molester, and the little girls being molested know the complete truth.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 21, 2011 at 07:31 AM in reply to Tallahassee
        We don't have a better way than trial by jury to determine truth. So, bottom line, the jury believed these girls lied, and tried to get a man sentenced to jail. Send them to jail.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:25 AM
    The way child molestation charges get handled are the modern equivalent of the Salem witch trials (or the Inquisition or the Reign of Terror). It can happen to anyone - all it takes is a bare allegation with no supporting evidence and you'll have to sell your house to pay for a lawyer and will find yourself fighting for your life, like this poor guy.
  • by Dee Location: quincy on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:06 AM
    Nothing's ridiculous about this situation..i wasn't there so I can't judge...But i ask myself what made this girls say this? Are they mad at him because he wouldn't do something for them? What? A Juror found him not guilty but if he's truly guilty he has to answer to God...so many older white men do this kind of stuff..not saying this one did it..i would like to know what prompted these girls to accused this man...
  • by Eitherway on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:16 AM
    Whether these allegations are true or false, these things still go unpunished in our justice system. Jury selection in itself is not fair and if you get the right people, they can be easily persuaded in whichever direction you want to take them in. This is why it is of the uttmost importance, that if anyone is a victim of molestation or sexual assault, to tell the authorities asap! Any DNA evidence is better than none.
  • by David Location: Crawfordville on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:44 AM
    I just saw where this man's ex-wife comment below. It says a lot about his character when his ex comes to his defense.
    • reply
      by Tallahassee on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:48 AM in reply to David
      maybe it just says alot about hers-it sucks! Maybe she's in denial...it happens.
      • reply
        by Susan on Apr 20, 2011 at 08:22 PM in reply to Tallahassee
        Maybe he's innocent. A jury and judge looked at the evidence, listened to testimony, and returned a verdict of not guilty. That's really all we need to know.
  • by David Location: Crawfordville on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:39 AM
    These girls need to face charges of their own. They have ruined this man's life due to their false allegations. I thought I smelled a rat in all of this. Kudos to the jury for not falling for the lies and rushing to judgement. These girls should spend a minimum of four months in confinement.
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