Closing Arguments in Trial of Man Accused of 30 Counts of Sexual Assault Against Minor Relative

By Shady Gonzales 

WOODLAND, CA – The prosecution made its final arguments here in Yolo County Superior Court this week in a trial against Mr. XX, who is charged with 30 counts related to sexual assault against a minor female relative.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Vanguard is not naming the accused to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

The prosecutor reminded the jury the assaults began when the victim was just 14 years old, two weeks after the victim’s mother died of cancer.

These assaults, including coerced and forced rape, would take place countless times over the next three years, said the prosecutor, and during her testimony, the victim said the longest gap between assaults in the three-year period was just over a week.

The prosecuting counsel argued Mr. XX had a myriad of opportunities to commit the assaults while no one was present. During one academic year, the victim had 69 absences that were excused by an adult relative.

The victim described in her testimony that she would be forced to have oral sex when she was too sore to have vaginal sex with him.

She recalled having to pretend he was someone else during the assaults in order to get through them, an act that was explained by expert witnesses to be a form of disassociation. This is a common coping mechanism among victims of abuse and sexual assault, experts said.

The deputy district attorney also used this evidence to explain why the victim may not clearly remember everything from those three years of abuse.

In addition to the testimonies provided, investigators found lingerie under Mr. XX’s bed that had the victim’s DNA within the shoulder straps and neckline of the clothing. This finding corroborates the victim’s claims to having been forced to wear lingerie.

Multiple witnesses brought in throughout the trial testified that Mr. XX had a personality in which many triggers would cause him to “really blow up randomly,” also corroborating the victim’s image of the accused as angry and violent.

The victim had also told a couple people about the assaults beginning in 2016, which was brought up by witnesses during the trial. The victim did not inform the police about the assaults until years later.

In addition, one of the witnesses brought in by the defense counsel recalled Mr. XX telling them that he was “going away for a long time” prior to being prosecuted.

The victim recalled having believed Mr. XX would stop his violent abuse of her if she just continued to have sex with him. She said that she believed she had to do what her adult relatives told her to do and this resulted in years of sexual assault.

According to the victim’s testimony, Mr. XX had insisted that having sex with him would make her feel less empty after her mother passed away. Despite that, the victim described having been scared and feeling as though she had no choice but to comply as she was just “a small kid and he was big and strong.”

It was also recalled that Mr. XX would describe the types of things that happen to guys like him in prison in an attempt to keep her quiet about the assault.

The jury is expected to come back after the holiday with a verdict.

About The Author

Shady is a third year undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara. She is majoring in history with a minor in professional writing. She is passionate about working in the criminal defense sector of law and plans on attending law school in the near future.

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