Final Witnesses Heard in Child Sex Abuse Trial

By Veronica Miller

WOODLAND, CA – Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall Tuesday presided over the last two witnesses in the trial of the accused, charged with 56 felony charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.

Psychiatrist Dr. Blake Carmichael, who works with children and families that have a history of violence whether it be physical or sexual abuse, explained how “Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome” allows sexually abused children to respond to ongoing sexual abuse.

Carmichael testified about the five stages of the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, listing secrecy, helplessness, entrapment and accommodation, and delayed disclosure and retraction.

Dr. Carmichael continued, noting how these five stages help people understand why a child may wait to report the abuse because they didn’t have support, or may just accept the abuse rather than tell someone right away.

He also said most often victims end up telling later once they feel they have the support or they sense that the abuser is going to be hurting someone to whom they are close.

This explanation was used by the prosecution to help the jury understand why the victim would have waited to report the incident, and why the victim gave their testimony in the way that they did.

The other witness that was called to the stand was Detective Andrea Aing, an officer with the West Sacramento Police Dept., who was seen in an interview video pressuring the accused to tell the truth and that “God” would want for him to tell the truth.

Detective Aing, while being questioned by Deputy Public Defender James Bradford, said that she used his religious beliefs to try and convince him why there were timeline differences between what the victim told her and what the accused was telling her.

Bradford also asked why she had not used a “pretext” phone call, a police tactic used in sexual assault cases where they have the victim or a family member or someone close to the victim call the suspect in the hope of getting a confession.

Detective Aing explained that she did not use this method because the accused, through other family members, already heard that it had been reported therefore it was no longer a good method.

Closing statements will be given Wednesday, with jury deliberation following.

About The Author

Veronica is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science Public Service. She is passionate about advocating for women's rights and plans on attending law school where she can continue to advocate.

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