Local News

Sexual Harassment Jury Reports 'Progress,' but No Verdict

Posted October 2, 2007 6:23 p.m. EDT
Updated October 3, 2007 9:53 p.m. EDT

— The jury deliberating in the sexual harassment lawsuit against the chief executive of Smithfield's Chicken 'n Bar-B-Q reported making progress in reaching a decision Wednesday, but the judge sent jurors home without a verdict.

They began deliberating shortly after noon on Wednesday and took a one-hour lunch break at about 1:30 p.m. and a 20-minute break around 4:30 p.m.

The judge sent the jury home at about 6:45 p.m. Deliberations were scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Jason Hallaman sued Gregory Moore three years ago, alleging he was fired as Moore's personal assistant in 2002 after he rebuffed several advances from Moore.

Several other former Smithfield's employees testified during the two-week trial that they also rejected Moore's overtures and were subsequently fired.

Moore tearfully acknowledged to jurors Friday that he is bisexual, but he denied the allegations of wrongdoing.

Moore's attorneys said Hallaman was fired because of poor job performance and because he forged Moore's name on a check.

Other defense witnesses questioned the credibility of Hallaman and the other former employees.

The jury must decide if Moore fired Hallaman because the employee rejected his sexual advances. They also are being asked to consider whether Moore maliciously filed criminal charges against Hallaman for forgery and trespassing.

In addition, the jury will decide on a countersuit filed by Moore that accuses Hallaman of trespassing and taking furniture that belonged to Moore.

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