By Danielle Silva
In Department 10, Ted Willie Tyler’s verdict on his sexual child abuse case was announced.
In February of 2017, Mr. Tyler’s wife had contacted authorities. She had suspicions the defendant was participating in sexual acts with the alleged victim, her daughter and the defendant’s stepdaughter.
In yesterday’s closing statements, the People pointed out Mr. Tyler’s criminal history, including a sexual assault in 2001. This 2001 case, according to the Daily Nexus in Santa Barabara, ended with a guilty plea to first-degree residential burglary and assault with intent to commit rape. Prior to that, he had been on probation for other stolen property.
The People also pointed out Mr. Tyler’s extra-marital affairs, records of texts requesting of another woman intercourse outside of his marriage, and doubt that the victim would fabricate the accusations. An expert witness was also mentioned, with the People noting how the victim’s accusations were consistent with Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome.
The defense, in closing, argued that the victim failed to have a clear recollection of the case’s events. In addition, the victim’s mother appeared to direct more focus to Mr. Tyler’s affairs than to showing concern for the victim’s safety. Furthermore, the 2001 case in which the defendant plead guilty was argued to be irrelevant as the victim of the 2001 case had been of age.
The People interjected once more in rebuttal before the jury was sent to deliberate. The People explained that the mother feared if she called the authorities the victim may be taken away. In addition, the victim,
still being a child, had an underdeveloped mind and memory is never perfect.
With this, the jury was sent to deliberate.
The jury had been deliberating for a day before coming to the following unanimous decision.
Mr. Tyler was found guilty on five counts. These counts included oral copulation with a minor under the age of fourteen, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of fourteen (which the court filed under separate counts due to the locations of the acts), and contacting a minor for sex.
The announcement of the verdict shocked the defendant and defense attorney, Patricia Campi. Ms. Campi added her own comments, stating her client had been upset at the outcome and needed a moment to take in the decision.
The judge released the jury and informed them they are now allowed to speak freely about the case, as the attorneys may wish to follow up.
This trial is scheduled to reconvene on the case enhancements next week on January 17.