Former Kennewick Gym Owner Found Not Guilty of Theft
A jury has found the former owner of 509 Fitness not guilty of theft.35-year-old Jason Ray Sleater was acquitted on theft charges, and several other charges were dismissed due to the jury’s inability to reach a unanimous verdict. Sleater had been charged with theft for allegedly charging an unauthorized $19.60 “gym enhancement” fee to about 375 gym members early last year just before he abruptly closed the fitness facility in early March.
Patrons who arrived at the gym early one Monday morning found the doors locked, and signs in the windows saying 509 Fitness was closed until further notice. Several members, including a Kennewick police detective, complained about the unauthorized fee, but Sleater’s attorney successfully argued in court that contracts allowed him to charge members.
The defense said the state failed to conclusively prove the $7,000 Sleater deposited in his business account was theft. Sleater reportedly produced a copy of a contract he said was issued to gym members saying he could make the charge, but there were reports from members who claimed their contracts did not contain such language.
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