Young Mother Testifies about Being Groped on Easter Sunday

By Michele Chadwick

MODESTO, CA – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Valli Israels heard the alleged victim’s testimony Wednesday against a man in a jury trial with various counts.

The victim testified that she and her husband went to Easter mass with their baby on March 27, 2016.

The victim said her daughter “started crying so [her] husband took her outside and that was sometime in the middle of mass.”

While she was “there by [her]self, it was fairly crowded.” She was standing at the back of the church because “there were no seats available (and) “I started feeling … some touching in my butt area.”

Initially the defendant assumed that the church was too crowded and someone bumped her. After the first touch, she testified that she moved away but “it was crowded and I didn’t have much space in front of me. I took a little step and then I felt him again.”

After the first touch, the victim testified that she “kinda just stood there. It happened once I moved forward. It happened again. I moved again. The third time it was actually like a whole grab. I just looked back, looked at him and then walked out because I was distraught at this moment.”

The victim testified that when she looked at the accused “he was just standing there, pretending nothing was happening” and that she “couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do.”

After she walked outside, she said her husband asked what happened after noticing that she was “really nervous.”

She testified that while telling her husband what happened, there “were people around. They said we need to call the cops. We need to address it.”

Additionally, she testified that “her sisters had mentioned there was a creep at church” and that “we knew it was him because of his physical appearance.”

During the cross-examination, defense attorney Preciliano Martinez asked clarifying questions about the areas where she was touched. Martinez then asked the victim to stand up and demonstrate where she was touched.

The trial will reconvene Thursday morning in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

NOTE: The Vanguard did not identify the accused because the charge is a misdemeanor.

About The Author

Michele is a senior at UC Santa Barbara from Los Angles County.

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