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Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jury watches police video in rape trial

August 16, 2012

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A Douglas County jury Thursday viewed video of a police interview with a 39-year-old Lawrence man who is accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl last October in central Lawrence.

Prosecutors accuse the man of touching the girl inappropriately as she slept in her bed, and they have charged him with one count of child rape and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy.

Police have said the man told them he was a family friend and had spent the night at the girl’s family’s home, where he drank alcohol that night.

The girl’s mother testified Thursday the man had fallen asleep on the family’s couch that night, and prosecutors accuse him of going into the girl’s room and molesting her.

Police at a January preliminary hearing said in the interview the defendant said the girl was frightened in the middle of the night, so he got into bed with her. He had claimed she crawled on top of him.

The man’s defense attorney, Michael Clarke, has accused police of continuing to press him for answers in the five-hour interview, and then stopping when he said what they wanted to hear. Police have said there were inconsistencies in the man’s statements.

Jurors on Thursday also heard testimony from the girl, now 7, and watched a video of her interview in October with a child welfare worker. The jury will continue viewing the defendant’s interview this morning.

The Journal-World generally does not identify sex crime suspects unless they are convicted.

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