LOCKPORT – A child sexual abuse indictment against a Lockport man was dismissed Wednesday because of an error by prosecutors during the grand jury process.
State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. allowed the District Attorney’s Office to seek a new indictment against Clayton J. Kelkenberg Jr., 33, of North Transit Street, but defense attorney E. Earl Key questioned whether that would be a violation of the law against double jeopardy.
The dismissal came during the third day of jury selection for Kelkenberg’s trial on a charge of predatory sexual assault against a child, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. He is accused of abusing the victim, who was under age 13, over a five-year period that started in 2008.
Key was given grand jury minutes Tuesday, and he said they showed that a witness who was not testifying at the time was allowed to sit in the grand jury room, a violation of the Criminal Procedure Law.
“Once I read it, having been a former prosecutor, I recognized there was a problem,” Key said. Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma declined comment.
An unrelated felony marijuana possession indictment against Kelkenberg remains open.