|Sexual assault trial expected to continue into tonight|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Jan. 12, 2007 - The trial of Charles Whitley Mick, the 36-year-old accused of sex crimes involving his 4-year-old daughter and his girlfriend's 7-year-old son, was expected to continue into the evening Friday.
The state rested its case before court was recessed for the night Thursday. The defense was expected to begin calling witnesses Friday afternoon. Mick as of Thursday indicated he likely will take the stand to testify.
He is accused of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of his 4-year-old daughter, and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of the 7-year-old boy and four counts of indecency with a child involving the boy.
On Thursday, both victims, now 5 and 8, testified in a closed courtroom and underwent cross examination regarding the allegations.
"The defendant exercised his constitutional right to cross examine his accusers," District Attorney Martin Braddy said Friday morning. "It's always difficult and unfair to the victims, but it is required.
"We don't expect much of children of that age. It's hard enough for an adult to get on the stand and tell what has happened to them," the district attorney said.
Experts who conducted sexual assault examinations and forensics interviews of the children testified Tuesday and Wednesday.
Kim Bassinger, a sexual assault nurse examiner, said that while she found no physical evidence indicating sexual abuse, she did note in her opinion of the case "sexual assault with history" based on a statement by the child that her father had "poked" her genitals with his finger.
She noted the child making the statement "My daddy poked me in the T.T. with his finger like this. It hurt me. It woke me up by poking me on my TT," while gesturing repeatedly in her genital area with a back and forth motion of her finger.
Defense counsel Ron Fergurson asked whether the contact could have been innocent, possibly made by the father applying medicine to her genitals.
"Is it possible the father in reality put medicine on the child?" Fergurson questioned.
"No. She was asleep. He woke her up," Bassinger said.
Braddy asked Bassinger if there was any question in her mind the girl was sexually abused.
"No, she never told me anything medicinal," Bassinger said. "She described it hurting and she said it hurt. You don't rub cream on and say 'poke.'"
Prosecutors on Monday and Tuesday called both Sulphur Springs Police Sgt. Detective David Gilmore, who investigated the claims, and Sgt. Mitch Griggs, who initially took the complaint.
Sgt. James Morgan, the out-of-town officer who performed a polygraph test, testified in court on Tuesday.
The both taped interviews between the forensics interviewer and each child victim were played on Wednesday.
Prosecutors also called the victim's counselor, Ginger Brooks, to testify on Thursday.