- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals is overturning a man’s conviction on sex abuse charges because the underage victim was allowed to testify in a closed courtroom.

The five-member court ruled unanimously Friday that a Mobile County judge was wrong to exclude the public from some testimony in the trial of Richard Eugene Demouey.

Demouey was charged in 2013 with molesting a girl who was 11 years old. He’s now serving 20 years in prison for the crime.

But during Demouey’s trial, the judge agreed with a prosecution request to clear the courtroom of spectators while the girl testified.

The defense objected but the judge still made spectators leave. The appeals court says that was a mistake because prosecutors didn’t provide enough of a reason for the move.

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