Girl, 4, Takes Stand In Own Sex Assault Case 3-30-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Girl, 4, Takes Stand In Own Sex Assault Case 3-30-2011

Testimony got under way in the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl. Prosecutors said the victim is a family member of 23-year-old David Burns.
Prosecutors said Burns had sex with the 4-year-old girl last August, and Prosecutor Jordan Case said he has the facts to prove his case.
"Elements of a crime are like ingredients in a recipe,” said Case. “Every recipe has ingredients, and if they're not all there, the finished product doesn't come out."
But Burns’ lawyer said there is no basis to the allegations, and no medical indication that the youngster was sexually abused.
"The child's story differs from whoever she tells it to," said defense attorney Ed Czuprynski.
The girl's mother testified that she found out about the allegations through Child Protective Services, but that her daughter had mentioned being molested even before she was notified.
"When she started talking about sex is when it started to get disturbing," said the girl’s mom.
A prosecution witness examined the girl last September. She testified that enough time had elapsed between the time the alleged incident took place and when she examined the girl that it was possible there was no physical evidence the girl had been assaulted.
"The time period that's considered acute, or when it happened, is different for pediatric than an adult victim,” said child advocate Bonnie Skornia. “For a child victim, the acute period is within 72 hours, that's the time when you might find injury or DNA. After that time, chances are you won't find anything."
The girl took the witness stand to testify Wednesday and Bay County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Schmidt ordered everyone out of the courtroom except the jury, court staff, the lawyers and Burns when she testified. Her appearance lasted just a few minutes.
"The child was basically non-responsive, she would not make any statements, or practically anything,” said Czuprynski. “She hid under the witness stand most of the time."
The girl's mother also testified, as did a local minister. The minster testified in court that the girl came to her, claiming she was sexually assaulted.
Participants in the trial TV5 spoke with predict it should be over by the end of the week. If convicted, Burns could face a sentence of life in prison. Burns has been free on bond since last November.
To read the conclusion to this story, click here.
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