Wednesday, May 18, 2005
A 17-year-old Greeley girl was poised and composed Tuesday as she described, in detail, alleged repeated sexual assault by her stepfather.
A Weld County man is standing trial this week for allegedly sexually assaulting the girl, her sister and brother repeatedly over the course of a year.
The names of those involved are being withheld because the Tribune does not identify those who allege sexual assault.
The girl, a junior at Greeley West High School, described how in 1999, when the family was living in Hudson, her stepfather repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She was 11 at the time.
She said he would tell her to come to his bedroom, where he would ask her to remove her clothes and perform sexual acts. On one occasion, he tried to have sex with her, and when she pushed him away, he hit her, the girl said.
"He would always tell me he would wait till I was older to have sex with me," the girl said. "When he actually did try to have sex with me ... I pushed him off me and he got really mad."
Legal wrangling over what the defense attorney, Derek Samuelson, would be allowed to tell the jury consumed much of Monday and Tuesday. Part of the argument involved the alleged victims' credibility, especially that of the alleged male victim, who was 10 when the assaults allegedly happened. He is now 16 and no longer living with his mother.
Court records show the boy passed a polygraph test when the stepfather was initially arrested in February 2004.
Samuelson's defense is that his client is completely innocent, and the whole case was concocted by the alleged victims' mother.
"This is a case about a woman who uses her children as pawns in a twisted case of revenge against her ex-husband," Samuelson said, addressing the jury in his opening statement. "Make no mistake, it's (the mother) who is driving this train. You deserve the truth, and the truth is, he's not guilty."
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Clegern said family issues involving the Weld County Department of Social Services and the boy's history were not relevant to the sexual assault case.
Trial continues this morning.