A Motherwell man has been cleared of sexually abusing three young girls.
Sean Gray protested his innocence during throughout a trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court and claimed he had been “set up”.
His alleged victims insisted they were molested as they slept on a couch during overnight stays at Gray’s then home in Viewpark.
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A jury found Gray, 28, guilty of abusing one girl and found the charges against the other two girls not proven.
However, due to the rules on corroboration, Sheriff Linda Nicolson refused to accept the guilty verdict and directed his acquittal on that charge also.
One of the girls said she was 13 when she was abused by Gray.
She told the court she visited his home on “numerous” occasions and often stayed overnight.
In December 2015 she was sharing an L-shaped couch with Gray in the living room. His partner was alone in their bedroom.
The girl told the jury: “We were tickling each other’s feet then I felt his hand move up my legs. He began to rub my private parts.
“I just lay there with my eyes closed and didn’t say anything.
“It lasted 10 or 15 minutes then he went into the kitchen for a cigarette.
“He came back and it started again. I wanted him to think I was sleeping because I was scared.”
The girl told prosecutor Neil Thomson she was abused by Gray again the next night.
Asked if she told anyone at the time, she replied: “I didn’t want to break up a family.”
Gray was accused of similar abuse towards a girl while she was aged seven to 12 years and a third girl who was aged between 13 and 14.
Allegations against him were first made in November last year.
Giving evidence, Gray said two of the girls were frequent visitors to his home but never stayed overnight, while the other one never slept on the couch.
Gray, now of Arran Road, Motherwell, stated: “It’s lies, simple as that. It’s a set-up.”
The fiscal responded: “The only liar here is you. You are lying to save your skin.
“You have good reason to lie because you are facing very serious charges.
“Are you saying these girls got together and made up stories about you?”
Gray replied: “Yes.”
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