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Court upholds Clayton man’s conviction for sex acts with child

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A state appellate court has unanimously upheld the conviction of a Clayton man found guilty by a Jefferson County Court jury in 2010 of having repeated sexual contact with a child.

Eddie D. Ennis, 41, is serving a seven-year prison sentence at Gouverneur Correctional Facility after March 2010 convictions for first- and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

After a three-day trial, a jury determined that Ennis engaged in sexual conduct with a female child on at least two occasions from October 2005 to October 2007. The abuse began when the child was 9 years old and continued until she was 11, according to testimony. The acts occurred at Ennis’s home in Clayton.

Ennis proclaimed his innocence before his May 2010 sentencing and appealed the convictions to the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, which in a ruling released Friday affirmed the lower court rulings.

In his appeal, Ennis claimed he was entitled to a new trial because the victim was allowed to testify about an uncharged incident of sexual touching. The appellate court determined that the challenged testimony was a result of redirect questioning by the prosecutor and that Ennis’s defense attorney had “opened the door” to the line of questioning during his cross-examination of the victim.

Ennis also claimed, among other things, that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence, but the appellate court ruled that despite “minor” inconsistencies between the victim’s trial testimony and her grand jury testimony, the inconsistencies did not render her testimony unbelievable. The appellate court also ruled that Ennis was afforded a fair trial.

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