Mobile Alabama–“The alleged victim of a sexual assault who had trouble talking about the April incident returned to the witness stand here this afternoon after watching a videotaped interview that a Child Advocacy Center worker conducted with him.
On his second try, the 8-year-old boy — addressing the jury with the help of a speech language therapist because of a severe speech defect — was able to testify with much more specificity against defendant Dustin O. Raybon.
Federal prosecutors contend that Raybon molested 3 young boys — all of whom are related to him — since 2003 on the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation near Atmore. Prosecutors rested their case this afternoon.
“Duh-Duh did something nasty,” said the boy, using the name he calls Raybon.
The boy testified that he was staying at the home of Raybon’s grandfather on the night of the incident. He told jurors that Raybon performed oral sex on him and used his finger to sodomize him.
During cross-examination, the boy testified that he does not remember Raybon living with his family for several months in 2008 while his parents were separated, although the boy’s mother confirmed that during her testimony.
Throughout the boy’s testimony, Raybon, dressed in a striped, turquoise shirt, played nervously with a pen. Defense lawyers have said the defendant intends to testify Tuesday.
Cross-examining the boy, Assistant Federal Defender Chris Knight gently confronted him about inconsistencies in his earlier testimony. The boy seemed unsure about many details, but he insisted it was not possible that he had made a mistake about what Raybon had done.
Over defense objections, U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose allowed the boy’s father to testify about what his son told him after Raybon dropped the child off at the end of the weekend.
“He said, ‘Dad, I got something to tell you. You’re going to be mad,’” the father testified.
The father told jurors that the boy described the sexual abuse.
“My blood started boiling,” said the father, who testified that he was a victim of sexual abuse when he was about the same age.”
More men are sexually abused as children than we will ever know.
“Both the father and the mother testified that Raybon was a regular babysitter for the child and that there had been no sign of abuse prior to April. The mother acknowledged under cross-examination that Raybon lived with her and her children for about 6 months in 2008.
She also acknowledged under questioning from Federal Defender Carlos Williams that a doctor who examined the boy at the hospital emergency room in Atmore found no signs of physical injury.”
This is common. Many sexual abuse victims, even when there is penetration, will show no physical signs of having been violated.
“Catalina Arata, a clinical psychologist hired by the prosecution, testified that it is not uncommon for children — especially boys — to have difficulty talking about sexual abuse. She said children often give brief answers to open-ended questions and then provide more details when asked specific questions.”
It is rare that a boy will lie about being sexually abused by a male.
“Arata told jurors that it also is normal for children to forget certain details surrounding an incident but that these inconsistencies and memory gaps are not necessarily a sign that the child is lying.
DuBose denied defense motions to throw out charges related to the alleged abuse of the 8-year-old and another alleged victim. But she indicated that she was unsure about a charge related to the abuse of a boy who was 5 or 6 at the time of an alleged incident in late 2003 or 2004.
The judge withheld ruling on that charge, telling the attorneys she was not certain prosecutors had proven that the boy’s description of Raybon’s touching of his buttocks demonstrated it was intended for sexual arousal.
If convicted of the most serious charge, Raybon faces 30 years to life in prison.”