Defendant Daniel Joseph Albano testified in court today on his own behalf in response to serious child molestation charges. Albano is facing charges for six felonies – five counts of a lewd act with a child, and one count of attempting a lewd act with a child. The incidents of molestation are alleged to have occurred over a period of years, from approximately 2006 to 2011. The victim, after originally deciding not to press charges, changed her mind, and moved forward with filing charges in 2012. Albano noted in court today how these charges have ruined his life. Since these charges have been filed, Albano is divorced and not on good terms with his long-time family friends, also parents of the victim.
Vanguard coverage of this case began yesterday, May 28, 2014, with testimony provided in court by the victim, her parents, and other friends of the victim. The victim was the first witness to take the stand. The victim spoke of an incident occurring as early as 13 years of age with other questionable interactions transpiring with the defendant up until the age of 19.
The victim specifically recalled incidents of molestation occurring at a Super Bowl party, a summer vacation to Dillon Beach, and at a Halloween party. At the Super Bowl party in 2006, the victim claimed that Albano, over 40 years of age at the time, tried to lean over and kiss her. The victim also discussed being orally copulated by the defendant in a restroom during a Halloween party. The victim only told her friend Madi of these occurrences. Another friend or possibly Madi testified to seeing the defendant and victim exit a restroom together with the victim looking greatly upset. Today, May 29, 2014, Albano testified that all of these allegations were adamantly false and that a number of misunderstandings had occurred.
The victim’s mother testified that she saw no strange interactions or odd behavior at Dillon Beach, where the victim’s family was vacationing with the Albanos. The father of the victim testified before charges were filed that he received a text message from Daniel Albano saying something to the effect of identifying himself as a piece of crap who used booze, drugs, and didn’t deserve to live.
Once the victim decided to come forward, another witness, Detective Jennifer Davis of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department began attending to the matter about in 2012. A situation was set up to where the detective would listen in on a phone call placed by the victim to the defendant. The recording of this pretext phone call was played in court. Some details of this call include, right at the beginning, Albano saying that he had to pull over to the side of the road. The victim stated that she simply wanted to talk to which Albano immediately started profusely apologizing.
The victim asked what Albano was sorry for and the recording said something along the lines of I’m sorry, sincerely sorry, there is nothing I can say. Sorry for your family, sorry for mine. The victim made a point to note that her thoughts on Albano’s actions constituted more than flirting. Albano apologized more and degraded himself. Albano also continued that he was having anxiety, seeking counseling, and doing better. The victim said to the defendant that she was glad he was doing better, however, that she too was undergoing therapy. Albano said in court that there were many reasons a teenage girl might be seeking counseling.
Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays was curious and asked Albano what exactly he was apologizing for in the text messages to the victim’s father and also in the phone call made by the victim that was overheard by Detective Davis. Albano said he was apologizing for text messages sent in 2011 when the victim was 19 that invited her and also roommates to San Francisco. Albano also provided his hotel room number. When Albano was asked why he provided his hotel room number if he didn’t intend for the victim to spend the night, he simply responded the room number served as a reference point for meeting up.
The inquiring San Francisco text messages to the victim occurred before the apologizing text messages sent to the victim’s father. Albano maintained that the apology to the father was for the trip in which he admitted it looked inappropriate and creepy for a man of his age to be seeking the company of a 19-year-old. DDA Hays basically asked why a family friend asking another on a trip to San Francisco required so much apologizing? Albano responded in essence that the effects of the allegations warranted such apologies. The DDA also repeatedly asked Albano in various forms why he let such allegations fester instead of putting a misunderstanding to rest immediately with a family friend, the victim’s father.
Albano’s wife found out about these text messages from the mother of the victim. Albano did say that his marriage did have other problems before the divorce, but no specifics were provided. Albano said he could not imagine why the victim would bring up such serious allegations against him, especially when he claims to have always treated her well. Albano also said that any person who saw him leaving a restroom with the victim was simply mistaken.
Albano said that his nature is flirtatious and that he acts that way with friends and family alike. Albano attributed this at one point to being Italian, where he noted a custom to kiss acquaintances on the cheek. Albano used the word flirting in relation to his actions towards the victim after being read Miranda Rights by Detective Davis. Albano said he was referencing his personality again; the innocent type of flirting that has no romantic or sexual connotations whatsoever.
The jury will continue to hear more on this matter in Department 8 of Yolo County Superior Court, tomorrow, May 30, 2014. More information to come from the Vanguard.
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