8-year-old testifies against uncle in sex abuse trial

February 09, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

The 8-year-old girl told a Carroll County Circuit Court jury yesterday that she couldn't understand why her uncle would fondle her while they watched television.

"I was scared," said the girl. "I didn't know he would do a thing like that."

But, prosecutors allege, the man did things like that to the girl, her sister and the daughter of a family friend more than 50 times in the last five years.

All three girls testified during the first day of the man's trial on child sexual abuse charges.

The 43-year-old Westminster man was arrested in August and charged with 17 counts of sexual abuse, child abuse, battery and perversion. His arrest stemmed from a state police investigation begun last May after the 10-year-old daughter of a family friend told her parents that the man abused her "on many occasions since she was 8," court records say.

The records say the girl told police and Department of Social Services investigators "that between 1990 and 1992 [the suspect] had performed sexual acts on her approximately 50 or more times."

Investigators also learned of a previous abuse allegation by the man's 15-year-old niece.

Under questioning from State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman yesterday, the 15-year-old said her uncle fondled her one night when she was 9.

"He told me it was our secret," she said. "He told me not to tell anyone."

She said that she told her parents, but, at the time, they decided to not to tell police.

The 8-year-old's allegations were investigated after she told her 15-year-old sister the man fondled her.

The man stared straight ahead as she testified.

"This is a person who would do anything for anyone," said Assistant Public Defender Edward T. Barry. "He's going to take the witness stand and say, 'I didn't do it.' And he didn't do it."

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