By Samantha Brill
Defendant Patricio Rosas is on trial for multiple sexual assaults on a minor. Rosas is being charged with many counts, based on the allegations that he continuously sexually assaulted his wife’s daughter, particularly in 2015.
Patricio Rosas is accused of verbally and physically (violent and sexual) abusing his wife’s daughter at his place of work, Ridgewood Apartments in Woodland. Rosas has been working there for quite some time as a handyman. On numerous times he has taken his stepdaughter to work with him, where he waited until dark and then allegedly sexually assaulted her multiple times in a work shed and in empty apartments.
The defendant is being represented by Deputy Public Defender Peter Borruso. The People are being represented by Deputy District Attorney Michelle Serafin. Judge Samuel T. McAdam presided over the case in Department 7, as the People continued with the direct examination of their witness, the stepdaughter and alleged victim, after the afternoon lunch break.
The complaining witness continued to testify that she had known the defendant since she was a young girl. Her mother and Rosas had been married for awhile, and together they have a son, who is a few years younger than the witness. The witness described how she used to consider the defendant her father, as they both shared a queen-sized bed with her mother. He even called her his little princess, and was very protective of her.
As she got older, the defendant would not allow her to wear any revealing clothing. On multiple occasions Rosas had ripped up the witness’ shorts and only allowed her to wear pants. The witness also explained that Rosas would not allow her to have a cell phone. He would continuously destroy any device that allowed her to communicate with others over the internet, resulting in the witness secretly keeping a cell phone which her mother helped her buy.
Ms. Serafin then asked the witness to explain when the alleged sexual abuse began. The witness explained that the first time it happened was in a closet of a vacant apartment that the defendant had been working on. This was around the time that the witness was in 7th or 8th grade. She explained that he told her to come into the closet or else he would beat her up.
The witness testified that, after resisting, she ultimately gave into his demands each time similar events occurred. She genuinely believed he would hurt her. This fear was rooted in past abuse that the witness had witnessed Rosas inflict on her mother and younger brother.
As the witness complied with Rosas on this first occasion, he continued to strip off her clothes and sexually assault her through vaginal intercourse, only stopping when ejaculation was reached inside of the witness.
The same exchanges occurred each time the defendant pushed himself onto the witness. Each time he was successful, through intimidation and threats.
The witness explained to the court that she was sexually assaulted by the witness once more inside an apartment, and then countless times inside his work shed. Also there were five other incidents which occurred inside Rosas’ car, pulled over on the side of a road in rural Yolo County, even during the times the witness was menstruating.
Even though the witness was unaware of the true reason she was assaulted by her “so-called father figure,” she said she suspected that he was punishing her for skipping school and any other time she acted up. The witness explained she missed school a lot due to severe and irregular menstrual cramps and migraines.
These alleged attacks went on for some time until the witness had the courage to tell someone. She had been fearful that she wouldn’t be believed.
Finally, one Thursday in 2015 she was picked up from school early by the defendant. He then took her home and ordered her to shower before taking her to work with him. Avoiding the shower, the witness contacted her boyfriend by phone and finally told him what had been going on.
Fearful of what was going to happen that day at work, the witness asked her boyfriend to contact her mother and explain everything. Ultimately, the witness explained, she was extremely tired of being abused and just could not take it anymore, so she had to tell someone.
Her mother was unable to understand the witness’ boyfriend’s broken Spanish. The witness explained further to her mother, but told her not to do anything about it that day and that she would handle it in the morning. The day after, on a Friday, the complaining witness confided in a aide/security guard at her school, by writing her a letter explaining why she was always in a bad mood at school.
The aide then gave the note to the school counselor. Both the aide and the counselor met with the witness multiple times during the school day, and called CPS and the police. The police then took the witness to the Woodland Police Department, where they continued to take her statement. That was when the witness was placed in foster care for the following three months.
Ms. Serafin continued direct examination of the complaining witness by showing her pictures of the shed in order to gain perspective of where and how the alleged assaults took place. Judge McAdam then called for the evening break at 4:30pm, and the witness will continue testifying for the People on Thursday morning.