By Julia Martinez
WOODLAND – A man faces a trial for allegedly inviting a minor into his apartment and requesting a kiss from her.
The defendant, Nouphoy Phetphayboune, is being charged with the felony of communication with a minor. Mr. Phetphayboune allegedly asked the 12-year-old girl to come inside as he was performing inappropriate touching. The minor was able to capture a portion of the incident through Snapchat videos and asked the next-door neighbor for help. Shortly after, she went back to the man’s apartment with her older cousin and he verbally confronted Mr. Phetphayboune before the police arrived.
A Lao interpreter was present in the courtroom for Mr. Phetphayboune, as he speaks very limited English.
The first witness the prosecution called to the stand was the Yolo County DA Investigator, Steven Gill. Mr. Gill testified that he was present during the MDI, multi-disciplinary interview, at the center for child sexual abuse cases. He described how the room was set up for these interviews in a way to make the children feel relaxed and more comfortable telling the truth.
He testified that the minor was interviewed 16 days after the incident.
The prosecution played the footage of the interview with the minor, where she described her version of the incident.
In the footage, the 12-year-old stated that she was retrieving her sibling from the apartment above Mr. Phetphayboune’s and, after she exited the stairs, he allegedly began trying to speak to her. She stated that he was standing in his doorway with no shirt on when he allegedly began speaking to her.
She stated that she went to his next-door neighbor, who was watering plants, for help before running away and asking her mother and older cousin for help.
The 12-year-old claimed that her older cousin then verbally confronted Mr. Phetphayboune, and the defendant’s wife began hitting him and trying to get him to come back into the apartment. The next-door neighbor called the police.
The alleged victim was able to capture a portion of the incident in a series of Snapchat videos, where Mr. Phetphayboune was seen standing in the doorway.
The second witness brought to the stand by the prosecution was police officer Chantelle Nahmens of West Sacramento. She was the lead officer for the case and was first on the scene to interview the minor and individuals involved.
Officer Nahmens testified that the minor appeared to be scared, shaking and speaking quietly when giving her statement.
The prosecution presented to the jury the body camera footage of Officer Nahmens from that night. The video begins with her speaking with the minor and ends with her asking Mr. Phetphayboune to come outside of his apartment. She testified that Mr. Phetphayboune’s wife was also in the apartment.
During the cross-examination, Nahmens confirmed that the police get a “fair amount” of 911 calls from this specific apartment complex. She also confirmed that the call the police got from the neighbor was regarding a verbal fight, not child molestation.
Regarding the Snapchat video that the minor’s mother showed Officer Nahmens, Nahmens testified that the video shows the defendant simply standing in the doorway.
Describing the sequence of events, Officer Nahmens stated that she handcuffed Mr. Phetphayboune after speaking with the minor and had him wait on the stairs while they tried to get ahold of an interpreter. They could not detect which language Mr. Phetphayboune spoke, so they had a Thai interpreter on the phone, even though the defendant speaks Lao.
Nahmens testified that she arrested Mr. Phetphayboune due to the state of the minor, her statement and the video presented. However, they did not know the specific charges they were going to charge Mr. Phetphayboune with at the moment of his arrest.
The trial was to resume in the afternoon.
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