Father Going to Trial over Charge of Sexually Assaulting Daughter Decade Ago

By: Gracy Joslin

WOODLAND, CA- In Yolo County Superior Court last Friday, “Mr. XX” (the name is changed to protect the identity of the victim) had a preliminary hearing involving allegations of sexual assault of a minor—his own daughter.

The complaint includes seven felony counts including aggravated assault of a child on more than one occasion, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under the age of 14 with force, and attempted oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate bodily injury.

Before the preliminary hearing began, for protection of the complaining witness, they decided to refer to her by her initials as opposed to using her full name. The Vanguard will use “victim.”

The first witness, Detective Christopher Cobb with the West Sacramento Police Department, was called to the stand and Deputy District Attorney David Robbins began questioning, learning Cobb met with the victim May 6, and the victim chose her biological father out of the lineup.

Deputy Public Defender Peter Borruso asked Detective Cobb questions regarding the identification of the accused in the lineup, noting, “Did you tell her what she was identifying him of doing?” in which Detective Cobb said, “I do not recall.”

Then PD Borruso asked “so she picked out her father out of a six-pack line up, but you’re not sure what she was picking him out for ?”

Detective Cobb replied again “I don’t recall.” 

Eventually the next witness, Officer Robert Brazier, also with the West Sacramento Police Department, said he met with the victim in an interview room on August 27, 2021, at the West Sacramento Police Department.

He said the interview was in relation to a previous interview with the victim years prior, when she was a juvenile, to “see if there were any differences or changes to her statement.”

He said the victim described again four sexual assaults that had happened to her by her father, which the officer said occurred when she was just nine or 10 years old.

Officer Brazier also said, after the second incident the victim “described herself as being scared and confused.” The third and fourth incident she recalled as happening before her 11th birthday.

Officer Brazier said on Sept. 9, 2021, he called the victim back into the police station where she rewatched the interview from when she was a young child.

The purpose of doing so according to him was because “there was some question related to possible acts of sodomy against her,” and he wanted “to see if there was anything that refreshed her memory or (if she) wanted to make a change to her statement.”

He said, “She did make a clarifying statement in that there was nothing related to sodomy that occurred” but did add more explicit details about one of the incidents.

She told Officer Brazier it has been approximately 13 years since speaking with her father.

The court was informed that this old case was reopened at the request of the district attorney’s office as there were “new charges related to a separate victim.”

PD Borruso asked Brazier about this “similar case” regarding her father, and the officer said she was “informed of this other case,” but it is unknown who told her about it.

Judge David Rosenberg issued his ruling referring to this case as “peculiar.” He said, “it was investigated back in 2009…for reasons back in 2009 that we are not aware of the case was not pursued…now apparently the case is being pursued at this time in 2022.”

The judge added, “I think that counsel is aware that in a case where sexual assault is alleged, the law allows the testimony of a complaining witness to support it if its believable… that is an issue that will have to go to a jury.”

The arraignment hearing for this case will take place Aug. 2, which can include trial-setting.

About The Author

Gracy is a 4th Year at UC Davis studying Political Science and minoring in Communications and Sociology. Post graduation plans include traveling and then eventually attending Law School.

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  1. Ramneet Singh

    Hello Gracy!

    I liked how concise you were in discussing the witness testimony and the witness’s relevance to the case. This is seen through the testimony of Detective Christopher Cobb and the defense’s questioning of him. Knowing what information is relevant is something I still need to work on. I also liked how you mentioned that this case was brought up due to connection with a separate, and more current, case. It added additional context that makes me wonder more about the separate case. One last thing of note was your use of quotations. It was well done throughout, but I wanted to focus on the quotations used at the end attributed to Judge Rosenberg. The quotations convey his initial sense of confusion which goes into his understanding of how the case should move forward.

  2. Jaanvi Kaur

    Hello Gracy,

    I really enjoyed your piece. I think you really drew us into the victim’s story, especially with quotes from the people involved in this case. I find it interesting that the case wasn’t pursued when it originally happened. I find it strange that a case like this would be put off for so long, especially since it could have deteriorated the mental health of the victim.

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