(Mobile, Ala.) Guilty of two counts of sodomy, but not guilty of rape. That was the fate of local youth mentor Sherman Tate.
Back in 2010, Tate was an employee of the juvenile court's Youth Advocacy Program, a mentoring program that put some of its mentors in contact with students at Mobile's Point Academy, a school for troubled youth.
Friday's verdict followed testimony from two teenaged girls who attended Point Academy in 2010 who said Tate had sexually assaulted them on several occasions.
And even though Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson failed to get a rape conviction, she was satisfied with Tate's two sodomy convictions.
"Absolutely. I'm very pleased with the jury's verdict."
During the trial, Tate, himself, took the stand in his own defense. There, Tate recounted his own life as a troubled youth, his attempt to graduate college and fly right until he turned to a life of crime and landed in prison.
He wanted to make it right, he said, by counseling troubled kids. But prosecutors say the temptation was too great, the kids, too available. Tate's defense attorney said the teens weren't telling the truth.
The trial was a classic case of he-said, she-said. But in the end, the jury believed more of what the victims said. Patterson believed the rape case didn't stick because Tate and his accuser were alone when the rape supposedly happened. But the sodomy cases? Both girls were together for that.
"My guess is everyone on the jury could more easily buy into that case because the two girls saw what happened to the other one," said Patterson.
Patterson is quick to say the guilt isn't Tate's alone. The system that put them together is also to blame, she said.
"And we did that to them, because we let this man not follow the rules that were set up," said Patterson. "What I said to the jury was that the state of Alabama, basically, gift wrapped these girls."
Sherman Tate will be sentenced February 21st. He could receive between 10 years and life in prison.