NEW YORK, Oct. 5 -- An ink expert who testified for the prosecution at the Martha Stewart trial was found not guilty Tuesday of repeatedly lying on the witness stand.
A federal jury in Manhattan deliberated about seven hours over two days before acquitting Secret Service scientist Larry F. Stewart -- who is not related to the businesswoman -- of two counts of perjury.
"Mr. Stewart, good luck to you," U.S. District Judge Denny Chin told Stewart. The scientist appeared to lose color in his face as the verdict was read, and hugged his lawyers when it was complete.
Stewart said outside court that the case had been "long, expensive and painful" and said it was difficult being on the other side of "a system I've worked for diligently for 25 years."
Stewart, of Bethesda, has been on administrative leave from the Secret Service since he was arrested in May. Asked whether he wanted his job back, he said: "Not that job. I don't want it."
Federal prosecutors accused Stewart, 48, of exaggerating the role he played in ink analysis testing of a stock worksheet that was used as evidence against Martha Stewart and her broker, Peter E. Bacanovic.
The pair were convicted in March of lying to investigators about why she sold stock in 2001. Martha Stewart, who is appealing her case, will nevertheless begin serving a five-month prison term this week.
The government contended that Susan Fortunato, who worked for Larry Stewart at the Secret Service, conducted the tests in the summer of 2002 and January 2004.
At trial, Fortunato bolstered the government case and testified that Stewart once confronted her after an office meeting and kissed her. She complained to her supervisors but later withdrew the claim.
Three members of the jury who spoke to reporters after delivering the not-guilty verdict said they doubted Fortunato's credibility as a witness.