ALBANY, Ga. — A judge declared a mistrial in the sexual battery case against Joey DeWayne James at 3:10 p.m. Friday. James was the principal of Southside Middle School when the two misdemeanor complaints were made.
James was accused of rubbing his groin area against his accuser’s buttocks and grabbing her breast while they were in his office in March of 2011, according to court testimony.
Presiding Judge Frank Salter declared the mistrial after James’ accuser said under cross examination that she had taken a polygraph during the investigation.
Salter said that he would not tolerate any mention of polygraphs or lie-detector tests by witnesses.
“They have never been allowed in a court, never,” Salter said. “I have excluded the mention specifically, directly and forcefully.”
Assistant District Attorney Victoria Johnson said she had instructed witnesses about not mentioning polygraphs. Johnson added that the alleged victim had arrived late to the trial and may have missed the instructions.
Upon consultation with colleagues Johnson said that the accuser had been instructed earlier, but had obviously, under the strain of the trial and a relative’s funeral the same day, had forgotten.
Another trial will be scheduled with a new jury, possibly in August.