By Lovepreet Dhinsa
RIVERSIDE – Defendant Jose Ivan Dominguez is on trial in the Riverside Superior Courts for raping, assaulting, and attempting to kidnap his brother’s 7-year-old daughter in their own home.
Last week, the jury heard from a DNA and genotyping expert, as the prosecution alleged the defendant had forced himself onto the little girl.
The expert described two processes that could be used in this case, a binary analysis and a starmix analysis. The expert’s findings were in direct opposition to that of an earlier expert who testified for the defense that the items with DNA on them belonged to the defendant.
However, while this DNA expert did not extract any new data, he did reevaluate the minimal data that had been collected. His conclusions did not match that of the previous expert’s analysis.
The item that was examined was a swab and the expert concluded that the mixed DNA sample is from both the daughter and the defendant.
The jury also heard testimony from one of the boys from the family, who had initially discovered what was happening on the day of November 16, 2016. The defendant had been outside and asked to come inside the house to use the bathroom.
The boy had been at home in his living room, where he heard his sister scream. He ran to the master bedroom, where his sister had been sleeping, and when he didn’t see her there, he ran to the bathroom.
Upon reaching the bathroom, he tried to open the door, but it was locked. The boy tried banging on the door as his sister was screaming. The defendant allegedly opened the door with his sister inside and hit the boy, leaving a marking on his arm.
According to the boy’s testimony, the defendant would frequently visit their home and eat dinner with them. He would notice the defendant being awfully playful with his sister, often tickling and touching her.
The jury also heard from the mother who testified that the defendant had been especially close with her husband, and he would come visit frequently when the husband was around. The husband and defendant worked together, in which the defendant had loaned the husband a car to get to work.
On November 16, 2016, the mother recalled the defendant dropping by the house around 10 pm. She described the defendant as slightly intoxicated so she invited him inside the house to eat dinner with her kids, not knowing what would happen with her kids later.
After dinner, the defendant asked the mother if she would go to the store to buy him beer, as he did not want to drink and drive. The mother stated she hesitated at the thought of leaving her kids alone with him, but then decided to go as the defendant was drunk.
The mother stated that she asked if the defendant wanted to go with her to the store, but he declined stating that he would sit in his car outside.
The mother locked her house and told her kids to not open the door for anyone. She put the older children in charge, as the younger children were already sleeping in the master bedroom. She, once again, reiterated to the defendant that he was not allowed to come inside the house while she was gone, and he agreed.
The mother went to the store and when she returned, she found the door to her home wide open with the two older boys standing outside holding a phone. The mother testified that her two boys began yelling at her, explaining that the defendant had knocked on the door and asked if he could use the restroom. The boys had let him inside, because they did not consider him a stranger.
The boys stayed in the living room and after a few seconds, the boys explained to the mother that they heard a scream coming from the bedroom.
When they ran to the room, they didn’t see their sister in bed, but they heard another scream coming from the hallway bathroom, to which they ran and started banging on the door. They told their mother that they found the defendant coming out of the same bathroom their sister was in and that the defendant hit one of them in the arm.
A few moments later, the mother asked the boys if the defendant had touched the sister and hit them, and when she confronted the defendant, he denied doing anything.
After a few days, the mother spoke with her daughter who told her that the defendant threatened her that if she spoke about what happened, he would do something horrible to her mother and father.
The young girl also told her mother that she had been dragged by her hair by the defendant to the bathroom, where he had touched her and asked her to touch him.
The trial will resume later in the week with further witness testimony, where the jury will decide upon a verdict.
Lovepreet Dhinsa is a junior undergraduate student at the University of San Francisco, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Politics with a minor in Legal Studies. She has a passion for criminal defense law, and strives to go to law school to fight for indigent clients. As such, she is also involved in her university’s mock trial program and student government.
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