By Susan Tuz

David Amory, former owner of Top Flight Sports Center in New Milford, was recently found not guilty of fourth-degree sexual assault.

A jury in Superior Court in Litchfield returned a not guilty verdict May 29 after about three hours of deliberation.

The verdict ended two weeks of trial during which Amory had faced charges of illicit sexual contact and fourth-degree assault on victims under 13-years-old.

He was found not guilty on all charges.

The charges occurred in 2012 when the sports center’s child care director contacted the state Department of Children and Families. It had been reported by two 8-year-old girls that inappropriate touching by Amory, now 51, had occurred in 2011 and 2012.

The defense’s expert witness, Dr. Maggie Bruck, department chairwoman at John Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, testified young children sometimes answer interviewers questions in the way they perceive the interviewers would want them answered.

The testimony of the girls, now aged 11,was suspect, Bruck told the court, and could not be relied on.

“The interview techniques that were used are no longer being used even by the state,” Amory’s defense attorney David Moraghan said following the verdict. “It was found that those techniques led to a large number of false positive claims.”

Moraghan said Amory can now “put this issue behind him.”

“He’s been through quite an ordeal. I don’t think he will ever go back into his prior employment of working with children,” Moraghan said. “It’s too dangerous for a man.”

“He did a great service for the town of New Milford for a number of years,” he opined. “And unfortunately it all came crashing down.”

Calls to senior assistant state’s attorney Terri L. Sonnemann in Litchfield were not returned.

Amory could not be reached for comment. His home phone in Brookfield had been disconnected.

Top Flight Sports Center was located on Pickett District Road in New Milford. It closed in August 2012 due to “financial constraints,” according to the message posted on its website at the time.

“Regretfully, Top Flight has made the tremendously difficult but necessary decision to close its business effective Aug. 5, 2012,” the statement read. “We have made a lot of friends and memories over the years, and we thank each of you for making Top Flight such a great fun place to be.”