Adoptive Father Tells Jury Girl Is a Liar [adopted daughter]

Date: 1984-12-20

Author: Victoria Churchville, Washington Post Staff Writer

A 51-year-old Montgomery County man on trial on a charge of sexually abusing his adopted daughter from Costa Rica testified yesterday that the girl is a chronic liar and that her allegations are unfounded.

Under sometimes sharp questioning by prosecutor Barry Hamilton, the man recalled 20 examples of what he considered lies, ranging from sitting in the back of the school bus instead of the front or middle as he had ordered, to saying she had completed household chores when she had not.

He testified that the girl, now 15, began lying in Costa Rica before he brought her and her younger brother, now 13, to the United States in 1981. He said she began lying before she could speak English.

She also played down cooking skills she had learned in Costa Rica from her natural mother to avoid helping him cook meals for the family, the man said.

The man, who was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in prison for a pattern of sexually abusing one of his natural daughters, also faces separate trials on charges of child abuse, rape and incest brought by his two other daughters. His name is not being used in this story to protect the identities of the daughters.

The man said that a heart ailment rendered him incapable of performing sexually years ago. But his cardiologist testified yesterday that impotency was a rare side effect of only one of several drugs that the man took.

His adopted daughter, testifying Tuesday, said that the man began forcing himself on her sexually in a motel room 3 1/2 years ago when he was driving the children from Florida to the family's home in upper Montgomery County. She said that he forced her into various intimacies at least twice a week until last Christmas, when her refusal sparked a fight between the two of them.

According to court documents, the girl was interviewed by police after the holidays and the man was arrested and charged with child abuse Jan. 4.

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