A Fairfield man was found not guilty Friday of charges that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl who he lured into his car in West Haven with a job offer.

The Superior Court jury deliberated 15 minutes before finding Edward Brantley, 53, of Black Rock Turnpike, not guilty of sexual assault in the first degree.

"I had faith that the jury would do the right thing. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for their work in helping to clear me of this charge," Brantley said after the verdict.

According to police, on Sept. 9, 2010, an 18-year-old West Haven girl had just dropped off her resume at a temporary staffing office on Orange Avenue in West Haven when she was approached by Brantley.

Brantley's lawyer, Senior Assistant Public Defender William Schipul, said the young woman did not know Brantley but testified during the trial that she got into his car when he offered to help her get a job as a secretary. She alleged that she went with him because she thought that he was going to get her a job application.

She testified that she spoke to her mother by cellphone prior to getting into the car, and while she said her mother told her not to get into the car, she ignored that advice.

Police said the woman told them Brantley drove her to his home where he told her he was a personal trainer and offered to show her how to do exercises. When the young woman declined, police said she claimed Brantley forced her onto the floor, pulled her clothes off and sexually assaulted her.

"During the trial she admitted that, prior to the alleged incident, she had been threatened with being `kicked out' of the house if she didn't get a job," Schipul said.

After the alleged incident, Schipul said Brantley drove the young woman to her home at her request, stopping along the way to purchase lunch at a fast-food restaurant near her home.

While he was inside the restaurant, the young woman remained in the car by herself in the parking lot.

She admitted that, although she made and received calls and text messages on her cellphone that day, she did not call 911 or ask others to contact the police until that afternoon.

After arriving at her home, Schipul said Brantley waited in the car while the young woman changed her clothing. She then asked him for a ride to a girlfriend's house. "She made a complaint to the police only after meeting with her former boyfriend and her girlfriend," he said.

Brantley did not testify during the trial.