By Minerva Melendrez
RIVERSIDE, CA – A jury trial taking place last Thursday afternoon involved defendant Jose Ivan Dominguez, who faces six counts of sexual assault against a child aged less than ten years old.
After the victim’s father testified, Public Defender Daniel Yu questioned whether he feels to blame for sleeping while the events leading up to the rape unraveled.
It was further disclosed that Dominguez and the victim’s father are third cousins, making it so that the defendant bears a blood relation to the child whom he allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted.
At Riverside County Superior Court, two witnesses were called to the stand by Deputy District Attorney Anne-Marie Lofthouse to testify on the incident occurring on November 17th, 2017.
The first to face questioning was a certified phlebotomist and assistant supervisor for American Forensic Nurses. Furthermore, she confirmed to be the nurse responsible for conducting the sexual assault examination on Dominguez that night at the police station.
When the witness was asked if the individual for whom she conducted the sexual assault examination was present in the courtroom, she responded, “I couldn’t tell you I did it so long ago.”
Even after showing her a photograph of the defendant, she was still unable to recognize him, yet was able to identify the name on the forensic report to be that of Jose Ivan Dominguez.
To wrap up the direct testimony, Lofthouse had the witness recount general observations she made during Dominguez’s examination. The only striking feature the nurse was able to recall was a large number of acne scars on the defendant. Other than that, she verified that nothing was found “concerning” or “out of the ordinary.”
During the victim’s father testimony, Lofthouse gained further insight into the type of relationship Dominguez shared between the victim’s father and his two children; the father informed Lofthouse his son would sometimes play PS4 with the defendant and on one occasion even tossed a football around with him.
As for his daughter, the father revealed that she would never talk to Dominguez or even be in the same place as him. Nevertheless, the victim’s father affirmed that on November 16th, his daughter accused Dominguez of touching her.
Lofthouse reacted to this information by asking, “how would your daughter know that it’s Ivan that touched her if you’re saying that she never had contact with him?”
The victim’s father clarified that the defendant had earlier gone to the house on the day of the incident to watch how they practiced for music.
After the victim had told her father what had happened, he called the police and went outside to confront the defendant’s cousin exclaiming, “look at what your stupid f****** cousin did!”
During cross-examination, Yu posed the victim’s father with a difficult question, warning him before proceeding to do so.
Shifting the anger and guilt away from the defendant, Yu asked the father, “do you feel guilty that on the night of November 16th of 2017 [the victim] was taken as she slept right next to you?”
The victim’s father responded with a solemn “yes.”
After confirming that there were no further witnesses to testify, Judge Dean Benjamini dismissed the jury for the day, reminding them to be present to resume on Friday at 9 a.m. and then again on Monday.
Minerva Melendrez is a third-year student at UC Davis double-majoring in Political Science Public Service and Psychology. She is originally from Pittsburg, CA.
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