Woman convicted of abusing child on flight sees conviction rever - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Woman convicted of abusing child on flight sees conviction reversed

(Image: Alaska Airlines/File) (Image: Alaska Airlines/File)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A judge has reversed the conviction of a woman accused of abusing her 15-month old daughter on a flight from Anchorage to Honolulu.

Samantha Leialoha Watanabe, 37, was convicted by a jury in federal court and already served 30 days in jail for the abuse.

But Judge Leslie Kobayashi found that witnesses, including passengers and airline staff, were improperly allowed to give their opinions to the jury about whether what they saw was child abuse.

Watanabe’s public defender, Alexander Silvert, argued that the witnesses were biased against her and their opinions biased the jury.

It's unclear whether prosecutors will continue to pursue the case.

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