The trial of a local man accused of inappropriately touching a young girl commenced Thursday with opening statements and testimony.
District Attorney Russell Wasley told the jury a story of when the girl allegedly told her father she was touched by 30-year-old Trever James Morrill after the father became suspicious and questioned her.
She began to cry like she had never cried before, Wasley said. She curled into a fetal position.
The girl had previously begun harming herself by picking at her face and ears, Wasley said. After her alleged confession to her father, the self-harming abruptly stopped.
Representing Morrill, Attorney Christopher Decker fired back, saying the girl gave the alleged confession only after being asked repeatedly by an emotionally upset father.
This suspicious and angry father asked her over and over again, Decker said, alleging the father told investigators he questioned her for more than an hour.
The alleged victims father testified Thursday, saying he had questioned the girl for approximately 45 minutes, although he was unsure of the exact duration. He said he asked the girl if Morrill touched her and she said yes.
Decker accused him of having preconceived notions about what happened to the girl and asking her about it until she told him what he wanted to hear.
Thats the last thing any father would want to hear, he replied.
During a police interview Morrill repeatedly denied touching the girl. Wasley alleged Morrill did say that girls that age do not lie about such things and something must have happened.
Decker told the jury the alleged victims statements were inconsistent.
This is a case about an innocent man accused of something unspeakable, Decker said.
The start of the trial was delayed when additional evidence was discovered at the last minute. Both prosecution and defense said they were unaware of the existence of the evidence.
District Judge Todd Plewe ruled there were multiple violations on the part of the DAs office for not disclosing the evidence, but said he believes the violations were unintentional. He informed the jury of the violations, saying he wanted to avoid jury speculation as to the reason for the delay.
Morrill was charged with an additional pattern of abuse charge of class three felony of sexual assault on a child in a hearing on Jan. 18.
Wasley had requested the amended charge in a district court hearing Tuesday, saying the victim alleged in a forensic interview that the man touched her at least four times.
Decker objected to Wasley amending charges filed by the previous district attorney, Mac Myers. Further, Decker argued the charges should not be amended so late in the process.
Plewe sided with Wasley and granted the amendment.
The mother of the alleged victim testified in a preliminary hearing in September 2010, saying her daughter told her Morrill touched her and disclosed the alleged molestation to her after a forensic interview.
A social service worker who interviewed the girl also testified at the preliminary hearing, saying the girl said Morrill touched her and pointed to the genital area of an anatomical illustration.
Morrill is not in custody at this time.
Reach Reid Wright at [email protected]