Trial of ex-athletic director accused of sex crimes continues - WNEM TV 5

Trial of ex-athletic director accused of sex crimes continues

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Gary Moreland Gary Moreland

The trial continued Wednesday for a former athletic director accused of sexually abusing a young girl.

Prosecutors say Gary Moreland ran a clown business out of his basement and that's how he gained access to the victim.

Sister Ann deGuise took to the stand Wednesday morning.

The principal testified that she received an anonymous voice message in 2007 or 2008 that Moreland had sexually assaulted a former student at the school. Moreland had been a longtime athletic director and volunteer at St. Thomas Aquinas. The principal says she notified her superiors about the call. The prosecutor then asked the principal what happened next.

"Did any of you ponder contacting police to see if they could provide technical assistance to trace the call, to see who was calling anonymously," asked the prosecutor.

DeGuise answered, "no, not to my knowledge."

DeGuise also testified that in 2008 she received a phone call from a mother of an alleged victim, saying Moreland had sexually assaulted her daughter for years.

That mother was also a teacher in the district.

The prosecutor continued, asking, "Sister, do you believe part of that emotional reaction, hearing from a former teacher speaking of her own child, speaking of sexual abuse by a person who is still in the employ, or present in St. Thomas school on a continued basis, caused you not to think as clearly as you should have as principal in dealing with that situation? Did that emotion interfere with your ability to carry out with your duty?"

"No, I do not think so," replied deGuise.

But from the time of that call in 2008 to 2011, Moreland was allowed on campus to sell concessions at sporting events to children. The principal said since the alleged victim was then an adult, she didn't feel obligated to notify police.

"So it did not occur to me that I needed to deal with it," testified deGuise.

The prosecution says Moreland sexually abused that victim from about the time she was 5 years old up to 20 years of age.

After the prosecution rested, the defense then started calling witnesses. Moreland's daughter took the stand and she testified that she was never touched inappropriately by her father.

Late Wednesday, Moreland took the stand himself to testify. Further testimony is from him is expected on Thursday.

If convicted of the most serious charge of first-degree sexual assault, Moreland could possibly be sentenced to life in prison.

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