Four days into their deliberations, jurors in the trial of Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, charged with sexually abusing his foster sons, said they were deadlocked Thursday but the presiding judge ordered members to continue working.
The six women and six men — who have been deliberating since Monday afternoon — sent the note to Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn about 12:30 p.m., asking her for guidance.
“We are not able to come to a unanimous decision,” the jury wrote to the judge. “Please advise us on what to do next.”
The jury — which made two other requests Thursday — worked until about 5:30 p.m. without reaching a verdict.
Judge Kahn ordered members to return to Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Friday morning to continue their deliberations.
Gonzales-Mugaburu, 60, is accused of sexually abusing six boys between 1996 and 2016 when the children came to Ridge to live with him as his foster sons. He later adopted the boys. All testified against him at his trial.
The 17-count indictment against Gonzales-Mugaburu also included charges he endangered the welfare of two other boys, and sexual misconduct that involved a family dog.
Gonzales-Mugaburu, who was arrested Jan. 20, 2016, has pleaded not guilty. He did not testify in his own defense.
The second and third notes of the day, sent to the judge at about 1:40 p.m., and 3:40 p.m., asked for read-backs of the entire testimony given by one of the alleged victims and additional guidance from Kahn.
“In your opinion, if there are gray areas or a small area of doubt, must you find each charge not guilty,” the jury wrote in the second note.
The judge reread the definition of reasonable doubt to the jurors.
Defense attorney Donald Mates Jr. of Hauppauge said though it’s difficult to figure out what the jury is doing based on their notes, he and his co-counsel Denise Shanley are hopeful that their client will not be convicted.
“They’re obviously having issues concerning convicting him because of the weaknesses in the people’s case,” Mates said Thursday.