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      Verdict reached in sex crime trial of former pastor

      The former Norway pastor accused of sexual assault was acquitted of all charges on Thursday.

      After three hours of deliberation the jury found 46-year-old Harold Markham not guilty of all three charges.

      Family and friends in the court room hugged the Norway man, some even letting out tears of relief over the news.

      The Assistant District Attorney Kent Hoffmann said that although he was disappointed with the decision, he respects it. He also added that for the nature of the case, the deliberation was about average.

      "Juries are unpredictable, but I'm not surprised that pastor Markham was acquitted on all the charges," said defense attorney Torger Omdahl.

      Omdahl added that the short deliberation period is an obvious sign that there was a lack of evidence for the jury to find his client guilty.