WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A former kosher slaughterhouse manager convicted on federal financial fraud charges was acquitted Monday in Iowa state court of child labor violations.
A jury found Sholom Rubashkin not guilty of all 67 child labor violations he faced involving 26 teenagers from Guatemala and Mexico who worked at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville. Rubashkin had been charged following a May 2008 immigration raid in which 389 workers were arrested.
Jurors reached the verdict in the second day of deliberations after a nearly monthlong trial in Waterloo.
Rubashkin still faces sentencing June 22 in federal court for separate fraud convictions in connection with bank loans the company received.
In the child labor case, prosecutors had argued that Rubashkin knowingly employed underage workers, exposed them to dangerous chemicals, allowed them to operate power machinery and allowed them to work more time per day and per week than is legal.
The alleged violations occurred between September 2007 and May 2008, when the plant was raided by federal immigration agents.
Defense attorneys countered that the plant's hiring process was flawed and dysfunctional but Rubashkin didn't knowingly hire minors.
Each charge was a simple misdemeanor that carried a potential penalty of $625 and 30 days in prison.