Last week I told you about my experience as a juror on a Felony child molestation case. Well, it didn’t get any easier when we were handed the case.
We had twelve people from all walks of life in that room. There was a professor, an oil rig worker and, as you know, a writer and everything in between. I was selected as the foreperson.
There were three charges.
Count I Child Molestation (when he touched her breast)
Count II Child Molestation (when he touched her… elsewhere)
Count III Enticing a minor (when he asked her down stairs)
We were allowed to use the evidence of him pleading guilty to Kelly, Grace’s friend, only if we thought it showed a pattern of behavior.
STUPID, Kelly’s mother, had been angry. It was VERY hard to tell who she was angry at. I think she was mad at the WORLD. Tony had fathered three daughters with her (Kelly was NOT one of them). The defense attorney said that she was mad because Tony had been cheating on her and therefore this was why she had lied and said he had told her he wanted to see her daughter’s breast. Of course, this doesn’t really work because she had given him an alibi for the night in question with Grace. When Tony testified, he said that he had cheated, but so had she. He said they were off again and on again.
Also, with the polygraph, the ONLY important question he had been asked was if he had touched Grace’s vagina. Remember this is the question he had failed with over 99% certainty as far as the examiner was concerned. He had been deemed an expert by the court, with no objection from the defense.
Now, I’ll tell you a bit about how I felt along with some of the arguments.
Personally, I hate those machines. I think they have some merit, but for the most part I think it’s junk science. The examiner went through great pains to tell how the machine worked, however, it was long and arduous and complicated. And I don’t think a man’s life should be decided on the bases on whether a machine said he was lying.
The testimony was more important to me. Even though she was the defenses’ witness, STUPID, was very telling. First off, she all but admitted she would be with the man if he was out of jail—after all, she had three daughters by him. So, I figured she would lie to get him out. In fact, she only admitted that Tony had told her he wanted to see her daughter’s breast after being read her statement. “Yeah, he said it, OK?” she had said.
Personally, I think she was angry because she knew no matter how this turned out, SHE looked bad. I wonder why in the HELL her children had not been taken away from her. I still wonder.
One of the important things to me was that Grace’s story had remained consistent for the whole five years.
Another important thing was that now Grace is 18 and lives in another state. So the defense would have us believe that she had held on to a lie for five years, through many states, and now she traveled back (I assume on her own dime) to lie to the court. Also her testimony was powerful.
Another powerful testimony was her mother’s. The woman was holding back tears as she remembered what her daughter had told her. This had her hurt. It was obvious. And that, to me, meant she believed what her daughter had said, therefore she wasn’t lying or having her daughter lie. Which had been another argument.
But, to me, the most telling was the guilty plea. And it was very similar to the incident with Grace. He took Kelly down stairs. Asked for a hug/sit on lap. And rubbed her shoulders.
When Tony testified, he said he only got Kelly out of bed because he wanted to discuss his relationship with her mother. This to me is ridiculous. Nobody gets a child out of bed (or should) to talk about adult matters. This makes NO sense.
And if it doesn’t make sense, its not true.
OK, so what do you think? Have you changed your mind?