Girl, 5, testifies she was raped at day care Westminster man charged in alleged abuse at home center

October 01, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

A 5-year-old Reisterstown girl testified in Carroll Circuit Court yesterday that a 38-year-old Westminster man raped her at a home day care center run by his wife.

The child was in the woman's care from September 1988, when the girl was 10 months old, until Feb. 5 of this year, when she told her mother about the alleged abuse.

Robert Oliver Braman Jr., 38, of the 100 block of Leisters Church Road, is charged with one count of second-degree rape, one count of second-degree attempted rape, one count of child abuse, two counts of second-degree sex offense and one count of third-degree sex offense.

If convicted, he could receive prison terms totaling 60 years on the most serious counts of rape and child abuse.

Mr. Braman's wife, Debbie, operated a licensed day care center in their home. The center is now closed.

The girl and her mother testified yesterday before Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr.

Mr. Braman's attorney, David Pratt of Westminster, is scheduled to present a defense when the trial continues today at 9:30 a.m.

The girl, who wore a flowered dress and a blue bow in her hair, clutched a teddy bear as she sat on the edge of the witness chair to testify. Her identity is being withheld to protect her privacy.

She testified that Mr. Braman had intercourse with her and showed her an adult magazine. She called him "Mr. Bob" and testified she was afraid to contradict anything he said for fear of being punished.

Her mother testified that she had become a close friend of the Bramans during the years they cared for her daughter. They had vacationed together in Ocean City, she testified.

"I thought she was safe at that house," the mother said.

The mother testified that she called Mr. and Mrs. Braman the night her daughter told her of the alleged abuse. The next day, Mr. Braman called back and suggested they talk with Department of Social Services officials, the mother said.

State police Tfc. Michael Cain testified that he interviewed the girl at her home two days later.

A Carroll grand jury indicted Mr. Braman June 21 on the six counts. He surrendered to state police the same day and was jailed at the Carroll County Detention Center on $40,000 bond.

Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. released him on bond later that day on condition that he have no contact with the child.

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