Sexual Assault Trial of Miguel/Michelle Martinez of Casper Begins
A now-11-year-old girl testified Monday that a friend of her family entered the bathroom of her house in Casper in March and sexually assaulted her, she said in Natrona County District Court.
The girl, who now lives outside Wyoming, gave her halting testimony during the first day of the trial of Miguel Alberto Martinez, who identifies as female and is also known as Michelle. (Featured in the photo above)
Martinez, who was 30 when arrested, faces one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a child and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a child. If convicted on both counts, Martinez could face between 25 and 70 years of imprisonment.
Martinez pleaded not guilty in May and remains in custody on $100,000 bond.
The girl told the jurors, District Attorney Mike Blonigen and Judge Catherine Wilking she came home from school on March 23 while her mother was cooking and several friends were at her mother's and step-dad's residence.
She went upstairs to get a book, went into the bathroom and closed but did not lock the door. She was pulling up her pants when Martinez came in without knocking, she said while being questioned by District Attorney Mike Blonigen.
Her testimony became more hesitant and slow when she described what Martinez did.
She said she tried to scream but Martinez put her hand over the girl's mouth. There was also loud music playing downstairs. However, she was able to kick him twice, she said.
Before leaving the bathroom, Martinez told her to "keep it a secret," she said.
The girl went downstairs to tell her mother what happened. Martinez had left the residence with a friend by then, she said. Her mother and another person drove to look for that friend but didn't find her or Martinez.
Later, Martinez returned to the residence, the girl said. She added that she heard her mother crying, yelling and arguing with Martinez.
Blonigen then put her mother on the stand, and she corroborated most of what her daughter said.
After the alleged assault, the mother said her daughter ran down the stairs, was crying and scared.
When she confronted Martinez, she said Martinez cursed, called her daughter a liar and "'a little bitch.'"
The mother called police. An officer arrived, spoke to her daughter privately, and he told her mother the girl needed to go to the Wyoming Medical Center, the mother said.
Blonigen earlier had called Cynthia Duncan, one of the hospital's sexual assault nurse examiners, to testify.
Duncan described the procedure for conducting such an exam, the contents of a rape kit, and what happened during the girl's exam.
The girl was shy, tearful, withdrawn and pulled a blanket around her, Duncan said.
As the exam progressed, the girl told Duncan that Martinez did "something to her private parts" and that it hurt, Duncan said.
During his cross examinations, Martinez's public defender Dylan Rosalez questioned witnesses on some details, but did not appear to catch them in any major contradictions of their testimonies.
The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. It is expected to end by Thursday.