A woman testified on Thursday afternoon that she looked into her family’s Douglas County backyard and saw her daughter touching the groin area of an Edgerton man last year.
“I know what I saw,” the woman testified during the preliminary hearing of the 45-year-old Edgerton man accused of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl.
The woman who is the mother of the 6-year-old girl said she was doing the dishes and looking out the window to check on the children who were playing on the trampoline.
The family at the time lived at the rural residence east of Baldwin City and near the Johnson County line. The 5-year-old is the daughter of the woman’s boyfriend, who had also lived there. She said the defendant would often do construction work with her boyfriend and often come over to the family’s house.
Prosecutors accuse the defendant of molesting the girls and exposing himself to them in 2010. They have filed seven charges against him, including two counts of child rape, three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan played video excerpts of interviews the girls did with a Douglas County Sheriff’s detective and a Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Service worker. The girls pointed to drawings and alleged the man molested them, including when he took them for a ride on his motorized scooter.
The allegations were reported to sheriff’s officers Nov. 13, and prosecutors filed charges against the man in February.
Deputy Kristen Dymacek testified on Thursday that during an interview the defendant said he had exposed himself to the girls and allowed them to touch him because they had told him they were curious. He also told sheriff’s officials at one point he accidentally touched each girl below the waist while they were riding on his scooter with them.
The hearing will continue at a later date, and District Judge Peggy Kittel will decide after the preliminary evidence whether the defendant should face trial. The defendant remains in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.
The Journal-World generally does not name sex-crime suspects unless they are convicted.