The trial is underway in the 89th District Court for a Wichita Falls man accused of molesting two girls in 2013 and 2014.
Antonio Parra Perez, 69, pleaded not guilty on each of four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. The oldest victim is now 10 and the younger girl is 8. The abuse happened when they were 7 and younger than 6 years old, respectively.
"Look at the facts through the eyes of these two brave girls," prosecuting attorney Bret Benedict said during opening statements Wednesday morning.
Benedict said he doesn't expect the jury to hear any DNA evidence but that fact isn't uncommon in these types of cases. He also asked the jury to consider what motive the girls have to get on the stand and tell anything but the truth.
Defense attorney Robert Estrada countered that no defendant in this type of case can ever affirmatively prove their innocence. But, it is up to the prosecution to prove they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Estrada said while the children are not on trial, the prosecution's case will be and the defense will be testing the evidence.
He told the jury he expected to show that the results from state's medical evidence from sexual assault exams can be found in non-abusive cases also. The exams were performed on the girls at the requests of the their parents a few months after their initial disclosures. At that point, Estrada said the case turns into a "he said-she said" dispute and it's up to the jury as to which witnesses they believe to be the most credible.
"The only thing that stands between the accused and the government is you," Estrada told the jury.
The prosecution opened its case with testimony from the lead detective on the case from the Wichita Falls Police Department.
Detective Todd Henderson said the WFPD Crimes Against Children unit was contacted by Child Protective Services about possible sexual abuse. Arrangements had already been made for the two girls to be forensically interviewed at Patsy's House Child Advocacy Center.
Henderson said he also spoke with the mothers of each victim in July of 2014. In August of that year, each mother requested a sexual assault exam be performed on their daughter.
Shannon May, the woman who conducted the forensic interviews with each girl at Patsy's House, then explained to the jurors the basic steps in a semi-structured narrative process that the Child Advocacy Centers of Texas uses for interviews.
May said each child responds differently to sexual abuse and there is no way to measure their resiliency or ability to disclose the details of what they experienced. Instead, she tries to use other methods to help the child in their own words explain what, if anything, happened to them through non-leading questions.
Children don't grow up playing sexual abuse; they play doctor and teacher, May said.
May testified that each child made some disclosures to her about possible sexual abuse using sensory details they normally wouldn't know if they hadn't experienced the abuse.
The younger victim was more able to discuss what happened to her and understood she was there to talk about Perez, May said. The girl told May during the interview about several sexual acts that Perez had performed with and on her.
May said the older victim was more reluctant to talk at first because she was afraid she'd get in trouble. She told May she'd been told to keep what happened a secret between her, her mother and a teacher she talked to about the abuse.
With the older girl, May had her write or draw out on a piece of paper what she could about the secret while May was out of the room. Based on information on the paper, May then questioned her for more details and the girl gave additional disclosures of sexual acts and inappropriate touching.
APALACHICOLA A Carrabelle man wanted for raping a child has been arrested after fleeing to Georgia, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Gary Denny had active warrants for sexual battery on a person under 16, victim physically incapacitated and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was taken into custody Wednesday night after fleeing to Georgia, JCSO reported.
BEIRUT: The Internal Security Forces announced the arrest of a suspected child rapist in the Mount Lebanon town of Aley.
After receiving information about a number of Syrian boys being harassed and raped in the area, the ISF’s Information Branch detained a 45-year-old Syrian, identified in a police statement as S.Kh.
He was detained in Aley’s industrial zone in Ain Hala.
During questioning, S.Kh told police he had lured and raped four boys, aged between 9 and 16, on multiple occasions.
The ISF found graphic videos on his cellphone reportedly depicting him raping his victims, occasionally more than one boy at a time.
The suspect was held by the authorities for further questioning.
The ISF has urged members of the public, especially parents, to report such incidents, as ignoring or concealing them, including to save face, only increases the victims’ suffering, and could also lead to continued abuse and violations.
MUMBAI: A special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act court convicted and sentenced a 44-year-old man to life imprisonment for raping his foster daughter twice in 2013.
The accused had even forced the then 14-year-old to falsely implicate two men from the neighbourhood for the crime, but cops caught on and requested the child to reveal the truth.
The accused suffered from AIDS. In her statement to the court, the minor said that she too had been infected with the condition as a child and both her mother and biological father had it. The accused and the victim's mother were not officially married but lived together.
The girl was 16 years old when she deposed before the court in 2015. Her nine-page statement reveals that she repeatedly broke down during her testimony. The girl said her biological father died in 2003 after which she, her mother and brother were forced to move out of their Nashik family home by her paternal uncle. She then came to live with her maternal grandmother and uncle in the city. Sometime later, the family moved in with the accused. She further said the couple repeatedly fought and on one occasion, the accused threw a cooker at her mother and another time, a hammer. The girl said her mother died in December 2012 after which she once again began to live with the paternal side of her family.
She said her uncle moved her to a hostel but she could not adjust there. This was when her foster father brought her back to the city to live with him and his family. The girl stated that she was forced to leave school and do domestic work. Revealing the first instance, the girl said on May 11, 2013, she was alone at home with the accused as the other family members had gone to Gujarat. When she went to the toilet at night, the accused barged in, bolted the door and sexually assaulted her.
The girl said she fell unconscious and after she came around, went into her room and slept. She said he raped her again a few days later and repeatedly beat her. He also threatened to kill her brother if she reported the crime.
After the second incident, the girl said she fell very ill. Fearing that she would report the crime, the accused himself called the cops and forced the minor to tell them that she was raped by two men in the locality. The girl said she was forced to lie to the cops and the doctor who examined her as the accused had accompanied her. She said the cops caught the two persons but later suspected her of lying. The girl said when the cops took her to the police station and told her about how two innocent men had been picked up, she finally told them the truth. The accused was arrested. The victim identified him in court and broke down on seeing him.