Alleged Victim Takes the Stand In Child Sexual Assault Case

Yolo-Courthouse-NewBy Tiffaney Yeh and Joanna Kwong

The prosecution presented two witnesses in the case of People v. Rodarte this afternoon. Job Rodarte is charged with rape and performing other non-consensual sexual acts on his biological daughter, identified as “M.”

The first witness that testified this afternoon was the stepsister of M. “Stepsister” considers M, the alleged victim, to be her sister and speaks fondly of M.

Mr. Rodarte is the Stepsister’s stepfather. Stepsister was eight years old when her mom and stepfather married. They divorced when Stepsister was a senior in high school. After they split up, Stepsister didn’t see him very much, only on rare occasions.

Stepsister had interacted with Rodarte during that time period from when she was eight years old until she was a senior. For maybe the first two years around him, she considered him a father figure.

During the week, M would stay at Stepsister’s mom’s house. While Stepsister was working, her husband and mom would care for M. Stepsister would drop M off at school and help M with her homework and babysit sometimes.

M went to her dad’s house every weekend by herself. Stepsister’s mom still saw Rodarte after they divorced. M lived with Stepsister for almost a year in Stepsister’s own house and stayed with her during the weekend a lot. About a year ago, M did not want to live with Stepsister’s stepfather. M thought she was pregnant.

The judge ruled that the above statement is not evidence that the statement was true but he would allow the witness to continue testifying about the point.

It was a Thursday in December when M told Stepsister’s mom that Rodarte had touched her. Stepsister called the police on December 19, the next day after Stepsister’s mom told Stepsister about M’s confession.

Stepsister hadn’t talked to M herself about what M told Stepsister’s mother because M was upset. M and mom were both there when Stepsister called. M was scared and cried.

The police officer talked with Stepsister’s mom. Both Stepsister and her mom were there when M talked to the police. Later that evening a detective called and Stepsister spoke with them.

Stepsister and her mom took M to the police office. M was pretty nervous.

There, she made a phone call to her dad confronting him about it. M was by herself in a room making the call, while Stepsister and her mom were listening to both sides of the conversation, which occurred in Spanish, in a different room.

When questioned about whether she was interested in Rodarte’s assets and money, she replied no and quipped that he has none. When asked whether she gains anything by testifying, she answered no.

Stepsister had never suspected anything bad was happening to M before M told Stepsister’s mother about the touching. Stepsister mentioned an instance during her testimony about M sitting on Rodarte’s lap, getting M wet. She has never talked to M about sex.

She seeks to adopt M and is currently going through foster parenting proceedings. M didn’t want to be in the system so that seems like part of the reason Stepsister wants to adopt M.

M herself was the next witness to the stand. A support person authorized by penal code was sitting next to her while she testified. She is 13 years old now, in 8th grade.

She has been living with Stepsister since November of 2014. She calls Stepsister her sister and Stepsister’s mom (her Stepmother) her mom.

M knows her biological mother (who lives in Mexico), and hasn’t spoken to her much but she spoke with her a year ago. She lived with her biological mom from around two to four years old, and stopped living with her at four years old.

When M lived with her biological mom, her two half-sisters and one half-brother also lived with them.

M says that she was physically abused and hit by her mom and was thus very willing to go to the U.S. She would call her dad sometimes from Mexico and cry and tell him about the abuse.

Mr. Rodarte went to Mexico and told M’s biological mom that he was going to take M to the U.S. for a week or so. He had a DNA test done on M. M knew he was her dad but didn’t know him well.

M was flown to Davis to live with her grandmother and aunt (on her dad’s side.) She lived with them for a year or so. Rodarte would come to visit sometimes.

About a year later, M does not know why, she began spending weekends at Rodarte’s house in Woodland. She spent weekdays with Stepmother and her son, M’s stepbrother.

M didn’t get along with her stepbrother. The stepbrother didn’t get along with Rodarte (his stepfather). There were little arguments between the stepbrother (34 years old now) and M.

Up until November, M would sometimes see Stepmother everyday. Some days Rodarte finished work early and M would see him.

M wanted to go to her dad’s house sometimes because there was WiFi at his house and no WiFi in Stepmother’s house.

Rodarte had work all the time and was gone a lot, so there was no one there to take care of her. M’s stepbrother moved to Rodarte’s house because relatives would stay at Stepmother’s house once a year, for a three-month stay.

Sometimes Stepmother would sleep over at Rodarte’s house (only once in a while.)

M’s stepbrother spent most of his time at library because he would be studying, or he studied in his room. M would watch TV with her stepbrother or watch TV in his room because he had own his TV in his room, and M didn’t.

M slept in her stepmother’s room at her house because there was no other place for M to sleep. At Rodarte’s house, M had her own room.

She would have nightmares about her biological mother trying to scare her. She would run to Rodarte’s room and sleep with him in his bed, on one side of the bed. Rodarte didn’t say not to do that.

M had spent weekends at Rodarte’s house since she was five years old.

She didn’t go to her stepbrother’s room, except to watch TV. He went out with his friends and slept at his friends’ places sometimes.

Rodarte let her get in bed with him. M stated that Rodarte touched her sexually. Asked about the first time it occurred, she stated, “I don’t remember.”

M stated that Rodarte would touch her in her vagina and her breasts, generally (not describing one specific memory.) When asked if she was touched anywhere else, M said she was touched in the anal region.

M responded to the question about where she was touched first with the response, “I don’t remember/recall.”

A specific memory she recalls is when she had a nightmare and went to his room at 6pm. He was watching TV. When she woke up at 12 midnight, Rodarte was still watching TV. He started touching her under the shirt, under her bra, touching her breasts. She was probably ten years old.

M recounted events of non-consensual sexual acts between her and her biological father, Job Rodarte, from the age of five until she was 12.

The alleged victim did not remember the first time Job performed sexual acts on her because this “happened so many times” according to her. However, she mentioned he touched and massaged her private areas at least once every three months.

She mentioned various instances when he touched her inappropriately. During one occasion, the alleged victim had a nightmare, so she went to Rodarte’s room and slept on his bed with him because she was scared. The alleged victim then felt his hand touching her private female parts, and she felt uncomfortable.

During another incident she recounted, she mentioned that the situation started in the same way – she went into his room because she had a nightmare. Rodarte touched and massaged her in inappropriate areas, and he also took his clothes off while asking her to do the same. She felt his private male part inside her rear, and she felt pain. She told him to stop, and he replied, “Fine, I’ll stop.” The alleged victim then returned to her room crying and stayed inside the rest of the night.

A photo was shown, and it illustrated a picture of Rodarte’s room and bed. The alleged victim confirmed she slept on her side and faced the wall; she did not look at Rodarte face to face during these instances when he would touch her sexually and inappropriately.

After each of these instances, Rodarte told M not to say anything to anyone about what happened between them.

M could not remember if Rodarte lived with anyone during the time she stayed over at his house. She said her stepbrother might have lived there, but he was always out studying or at a friend’s place. She doesn’t recall her stepbrother ever being at the house at night when Rodarte would touch her inappropriately.

The alleged victim was asked to describe another incident with Rodarte. In the midst of him touching and massaging his and her private parts, he asked her to kiss his private male part. The alleged victim was about to put her mouth close to his private part, but she ended up going to the bathroom because she “felt like puking.” She went back to her room afterwards.

In 2014, M, Rodarte, M’s stepmother, and a friend of the stepmother went on a trip to Tahoe. Stepmother and her friend were still at a casino nearby the hotel when Rodarte brought M back to the hotel because she was bored at the casino. She started watching television, and Rodarte went to sit on the same bed with her. He started touching her again in sexual areas, and he wanted to penetrate his male part into her rear. The alleged victim kept saying, “No.”

M’s stepmother called Rodarte to pick her and her friend up from the casino. Prior to heading back to the casino, M went to the bathroom to shower because she claimed she “felt dirty from the touching.” She also noticed she was bleeding, but she was not on her period.

The alleged victim did not tell her stepmother what happened because she was scared that she would get mad and angry. Also, M’s grandmother (Rodarte’s mom) had heart problems, and M was scared that if she told anyone, her grandmother would worry and die.

M did approach the Multi-disciplinary interview center (MDIC) and informed them about the Tahoe incident, as well as some of the other sexual events she recounted earlier in her witness statement.

M confronted Rodarte on more than one occasion and told him not to touch her sexually, and he would tell her that he would not do it again. However, he would still continue such acts every once in a while, claimed the alleged victim.

One last instance happened after the Tahoe trip, and before Rodarte was arrested in November of last year. M recalled being home alone with Rodarte. He started “humping” and touching her. She tried to move away, but he was holding onto her back. She started to experience pain, so she ran to the bathroom. The alleged victim noticed her underwear was soaking wet, and she was worried that her underwear was damp because Rodarte’s semen soaked through her pants.

She called her stepmother that night to pick her up from Rodarte’s house. She did not tell Stepmother she was scared she was pregnant or all of the stuff Rodarte did to her until two weeks later.

M also noted she would always dress in black because she did not want anyone to look at her in a way that would make her seem exposed. She said she dressed like a “goth,” and she started getting bullied in school.

The alleged victim wanted to commit suicide, so she overdosed on pills. She was sent to the hospital. When the doctors asked M why she tried to commit suicide, she said she was getting bullied in school. M was unable and scared to also tell the doctors she “didn’t want to be alive knowing her biological father raped and abused her,” because Rodarte was present in the hospital room.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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