An almost two hour wait on jury proceedings was needed by Judge David Stutzman and counsels as they wrangled out a legal issue before open court resumed again on Wednesday morning.
Christopher Bates is facing 6 counts of sexual assault on two victims in the summer of 2013. According to prosecutors the assaults occurred from mid-summer until Victim A reported the incidents to their mother on 12, August 2013.
After the long break at the beginning of the trial Judge Stutzman explained that he must ensure the trial was a fair and legally sound proceeding, and must sometimes make rulings on issues that surface while the trial is ongoing.
At almost 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday the prosecution called its next witness Riley County Police Detective Julia Goggins. Detective Goggins verified her work as an investigator of crimes against children, and then over the objection of the defense attorneys both interviews with Victim A and B (refer to previous story here for clarification on names of alleged victims) were viewed by the court. The recordings were made at the Child Advocacy Center (C.A.C) under the supervision of several care practitioners In the interviews Detective Goggins asks the alleged victims their own names for various body parts, and then goes through the process of asking about the incidents in question.
Victim A described the three assaults she was involved in, and included details on how and where Victim A was touched. Victim A was seen once again saying nothing was said by Bates until she escaped, and Victim A said Bates called out to her that he didn’t mean to make Victim A mad.
In Victim B’s interview video Detective Goggins asked Victim B why she at first didn’t come forward with the information in her first interview. Victim B said they needed to talk to their mother first. Victim B said Bates kissed her privates after asking her to move by him on the couch in the early morning hours. Victim B said Bates stopped after Victim B repeatedly said to stop, and Victim B retreated upstairs.
Riley County District Attorney Barry Wilkerson asked Detective Goggins if it was common for children to withhold information, and release it at a later date. Detective Goggins affirmed that children feel uncomfortable about sexual topics, and most times it comes out in bits and pieces.
On cross examination by the Defense Detective Goggins testified that Victim B had initially said a classmate had inappropriately touch Victim B, and said nothing about Christopher Bates until the later interview. Detective Goggins stated that she didn’t gather clothing from the alleged incidents due to no bodily fluids being transferred on the recent event, and the length of time from the previous alleged events.
In the early afternoon the state called clinical psychologist Dr. Wanda Hugget. Dr. Hugget took the stand and stated the effects she observed in the alleged victim’s when she treated them in the fall of 2013. Dr. Hugget said Victim B told her she wanted to make the bad thoughts go away, and lived in fear of retribution from Christopher Bates for revealing the assault. Dr. Hugget said Victim A stuggled with the issue, and both alleged victim’s came into conflict in a fight over attention from their mother.
After Dr. Hugget’s testimony the prosecution rested its case.
During the transition to the defense’s portion of the trial the prosecution changed count five in the charges to aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
The defense opened its witness testimony with the same person used by the prosecution… the defendant’s wife.
Once more on the stand Bates’s wife went over several days in the summer in which the couple did not stay the night at the alleged victim’s house. On cross examination by the prosecution Riley County District Attorney Barry Wilkerson had Bates’s wife check off the days she testified that she didn’t spend the night, and then pointed out there were a lot more days in the month still left for possible sleep overs. The prosecution also brought forward the fact, once again, that the family had a stay-over bag in their vehicle because they spent the night so often at the home of the alleged victims. The defense redirected and Bates’s wife testified that it wasn’t common practice for Bates to spend the night at the victims’s house when it was a work day.
Another portion of Bates’s wife testimony was whether or not she could observe or be aware of what was happening in the living room where most of the incidents allegedly took place. She indicated she could see a portion of the space, and would wake up when the father of the alleged victims came down the stairs in the morning for a routine smoke.
The trial will resume at 09:00 a.m. on Thursday.