Children take stand against father Man is charged in child sex abuse

October 13, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Two children took the witness stand yesterday in Carroll Circuit Court and told Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. that their father had sexually abused them in their grandmother's home.

"My father touched me in places I didn't want to be touched," said the grade school-aged boy, who was testifying in the child sexual abuse trial of his father, who lives in northern Carroll County. "It happened six times."

His teen-age sister testified for two hours before that. She told the judge that her father abused her more than 20 times between 1991 and February 1993.

The man, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the children, was charged in March with child abuse, second- and third-degree sexual offense and battery. Both his son and daughter have been in foster care since his arrest.

The daughter -- who testified with her back to her father -- told Judge Burns that she has been angry at her father for years. Reading a passage from a letter she wrote to her older brother, she said, "If you want to be nice to me, you can get [my father] the hell out of my life and keep him there."

The children -- and five other witnesses called by Assistant State's Attorney Eileen McInerney -- described the defendant as an unrepentant sexual abuser.

Defense attorney David B. Weisgerber tried to show that his client is a victim of vindictive children.

In his cross-examination of the girl, Mr. Weisgerber asked whether his client's low-paying job, strict discipline and temper had anything to do with her sexual abuse allegations.

"Is it a fact that you are aware that all of the adults in your family . . . are in disbelief and indicate that what you're saying about your father are lies?" Mr. Weisgerber asked.

"Yes," the girl answered.

"And are you aware they say you're lying because you're up to your usual ways to get your own way?"

"Yes."

Mr. Weisgerber also asked the girl why she hadn't reported the alleged abuse before February, and why no one seemed to have noticed a change in her behavior.

"Is it because you were such a pain . . . before the abuse, as you are now?"

"Yes," the girl responded.

Ms. McInerney rested her case yesterday afternoon after testimony from an investigator, a social worker, a psychologist and the woman that the girl first told about the alleged abuse.

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