Trial underway of Northbridge couple charged with child rape
By Lindsay Corcoran/Daily News staff
Milford Daily News
Posted Jul 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Last update Jul 30, 2013 @ 09:49 AM
During opening statements Monday, 16 jurors heard two versions of a nightmare from both the district attorney’s office and defense attorneys for the Whitinsville couple accused of raping their two adopted children.
Joseph Mayotte, 50, of 67 Laura Lane, and his wife Linda Mayotte, 49, were arrested in 2009 and face 26 counts each in the Worcester Superior Court trial, including five counts of statutory rape of a child, one count of aggravated rape of a child, eight counts of indecent assault on a child under 14 and one count of incest, among others.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Riddle talked in her opening statement of the nightmare of the two victims, who were 8 and 13 when they allegedly began being abused by their adopted parents.
The children were adopted by the Mayottes from an orphanage in Kazakhstan and came to live in Whitinsville in August 2004, Riddle said.
“They ended up going from one nightmare into another,” Riddle said. “They were foreign children, in an unfamiliar country with an unfamiliar language who were completely dependent on the defendants. Within a couple of months, the husband was sleeping in bed with (the girl) while the wife was with (the boy) sexually.”
In 2007, Riddle said the girl told a neighbor about the abuse, but was too intimidated by Linda Mayotte to tell police and social workers about it when they responded to the report.
“She was a puppet master pulling all the strings,” said Riddle of Linda Mayotte.
Riddle told jurors that her case relies largely on the testimony of witnesses rather than physical evidence, since the abuse took place behind closed doors and without witnesses.
Both sides, however, agreed that Linda Mayotte’s third child is evidence of a sex act since the child’s father is her adopted son.
Defense attorney Laurel Singer, representing Linda Mayotte, argued in her opening statement that her client was actually the victim in this case.
“Linda Mayotte is not a rapist,” Singer said, arguing she was instead used as a “sex pawn,” by her adopted son. “Linda Mayotte was raped over and over and over again for years. This case is all about power.”
Singer argued the teenage boy who came to live with the Mayottes was used to having power, having had to survive on his own on the streets in his home country.
“He raped her for four years,” Singer said. “He punched her, yelled at her and threatened to go to the police and accuse her of rape. … I suggest to you he fulfilled that promise.”
Singer argued that the alleged male victim is lying about the abuse to not only avoid charges for stealing jewelry from Linda Mayotte, but also to cover up his rape of his adoptive mother.
The attorney for Joseph Mayotte, Christopher LoConto, said his client was facing a totally different nightmare - one of the wrongfully accused.
“This is the American dream, turned into an American nightmare,” LoConto said.
LoConto said Joseph Mayotte had no idea what was going on in his home between his wife and his adopted son and that he was falsely accused of abusing his adopted daughter.
LoConto said the only reason his client and the girl ever shared a bed is because the young girl was afraid at night.
“It was just a way to comfort a child in a whole new world,” LoConto said.
The allegedl male victim was the first witness called to testify Monday afternoon. His testimony will resume today.
Contact Lindsay Corcoran at 508-634-7582 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LacorcMDN.