A Cortland man, who was arrested in July of 2016 on allegations that he had sexually abused a girl under the age of 11 over the course of about 7 years is a free man.

84 year old Arthur Ward has been found not guilty on all charges, including 70 felony counts.

Authorities say they spent 7 months investigating the case but a jury deliberated an hour before delivering the not-guilty verdict March 9.

At the time of his arrest, Cortland Police said Ward was charged with 58 counts of sexual abuse and 12 additional sexual abuse counts for alleged sexual contact with a child under the ages of 13, course of sexual conduct against a child, felony attempted sexual abuse and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

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