Nov 14, 2007

Christmas Day molestation trial

A jury member stood up to see the 17-month-old girl in the wheelchair. A few jurors smiled.

Eligio Chia-Duran, the Mexican man accused of assaulting, battering and molesting the child last Christmas Day, made no sign that he saw the baby. Sitting next to his defense attorney with his black hair slicked back, Chia-Duran's face remained impassive throughout the trial, Tuesday. The illegal immigrant speaks only broken English. An older man whispered translations to him as the trial proceeded.

The prosecutions' final witness, on the second day of trial, Tuesday, was the girl's foster mother. The woman told the jury the girl, who is not being named, is paralyzed from the abdomen down, and will have to use specialized wheelchairs her entire life.

"She feels from the belly button up," said the woman, who is adopting the girl, and asked not to be named because it is a closed adoption. "From the belly down, [the girl] feels nothing," the adoptive mother said. "Right now, she's little and she doesn't know that she's disabled. She's happy. When she's older, it will be a lot harder."

When the 17-month-old girl wheeled out of the courtroom, she looked at the jury and said, "Bye bye."

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily