TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida jury cleared a registered sex offender of sexual battery and kidnapping charges Friday, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
Chitwood posted on his social media that the jury acquitted Jason Nicholas Minton, 46, who was arrested after he was seen dragging an unconscious woman out of a bar in Ormond Beach and into his pickup truck.
The incident was captured on surveillance video, the sheriff said. Minton was arrested by Ormond Beach police on Feb. 21, 2020, and could have faced life in prison if he were convicted..
Chitwood said the defense argued that the victim drank heavily and consented to the sexual activity. However, the victim did not remember giving consent.
However, while Minton walked away free from the allegations in this incident, he still has pending charges from the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.
“We arrested him in a separate 2020 incident where he set up a ‘job interview’ with a young woman, drove her to a bar, bought her drinks, took her to a secluded area and touched her against her will,” the sheriff said. “She was able to fend him off and report the incident.”
Chitwood said that case is still being tried in court.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Minton was convicted in 2000 for sexually battering a victim under the age of 16. This incident also happened in Volusia County.
Minton is now out of custody but will still have to comply with sex offender restrictions as a result of his previous offense.